PTT lost Bt17 billion on NGV last year
PTT ran a Bt17-billion loss in its NGV business last year, despite the monthly hikes in the NGV retail price by 50 satang per kilogram, a PTT source said last week.NGV demand leapt 21 per cent to 7.7 million kilograms per day last year.
The government allowed the NGV retail price to go up by 50 satang per month since January 16 before freezing it at Bt10.50, which is still cheaper than petrol. From August-November, NGV consumption peaked at Bt7.9 million-8.1 million kilograms per day.
PTT now retails NGV at Bt10.50 versus the actual cost of Bt15.14.
Chodechai Suwanaporn, executive vice president for energy economics and policy, said NGV has become the main fuel of motorists and truckers, a change from the only other alternative fuel for them, due to high prices. PTT has also opened many NGV filling stations near its gas pipelines to serve rising demand of vehicles.
But the farther the stations are from the pipelines, the greater the cost to deliver the gas to the stations. It has also incurred logistic costs in using diesel trucks to transport NGV from the mother station to retail stations.
Recently Energy Minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisal said the ministry would not consider raising the retail NGV price again until PTT had enough stations to serve demand. Truck operators are willing to see the NGV price go up to actual cost but PTT had to make sure that it can satisfactorily serve their needs, he said.
The truck operators also want to see the establishment of NGV stations to specifically serve them.
Suthep Liamsiricharoen, head of the Energy Policy and Planning Office, said PTT and the Energy Business Department are pondering ways for PTT to expand its NGV station network as much as possible. However, it may not make financial sense in inner Bangkok due to very high land prices. PTT is in talks with state agencies about renting space for NGV stations in inner Bangkok. It also plans to add stations along pipelines to serve trucks. Once PTT has enough NGV stations to meet all demand, the Energy Policy and Planning Office will propose a further rise in the NGV price to Cabinet.