Sharp rise in gasohol use
Gasohol consumption surged by 4 million litres per day after the end to production of 91-octane petrol, according to the Energy Ministry.
Consumption of 95-octane petrol exploded from 100,000 litres to 1 million litres a day.
PTT plans to produce 4 million litres per month of a special-grade biodiesel called bio-hydrogen diesel (BHD) with 15-per-cent palm-oil content.
Veerapol Jirapraditkul, director-general of the Energy Ministry's department of energy business, said gasohol consumption soared after the government halted distribution of 91-octane petrol on January 1.
Gasohol consumption in January increased by 4.12 million litres a day to 17.70 million from 13.58 million litres in December. Gasohol 91 consumption rose from 6.31 million litres to 7.43 million litres per day, gasohol 95 from 5.63 million litres to 7.26 million, E20 from 1.49 million litres to 1.80 million, and E85 from 160,000 litres to 190,000 litres per day.
Consumption of petrol dropped from 8.65 million litres to 4.21 million litres per day. That of 91-octane petrol fell from 8.55 million litres to 3.38 million litres per day, while 95-octane petrol usage rose from 100,000 litres to 970,000 litres per day. Consumption of 95-octane petrol is projected to rise to between 1 million and 2 million litres a day by year-end.
As part of the long-term marketing strategy in preparation for the Asean Economic Community, the Energy Business Department is studying exporting gasohol to Asean countries in the near future, Veerapol said.
As for the policy to raise the content of palm oil in biodiesel, PTT has upgraded its refiner IRPC to allow for the production of BHD, which will be 15 per cent palm oil and 85 per cent diesel. Production of BHD should be about 4 million litres a month.