The oldest industrial conglomerate in Thailand, the B. Grimm Group, has become the third independent company to receive a liquefied natural gas import licence as the sector is liberalized.
The B. Grimm Group said in a statement to the Stock Exchange of Thailand that it had been awarded a permit to import 650,000 tonnes per annum to the Map Ta Phut LNG import terminal in Rayong province.
Two other companies, the power producers Gulf Energy Development Public Co. and Hin Kong Power, have previously been awarded licences to import a combined 1.7 million tonnes per annum.
Thailand’s national oil and gas company, PTT, had previously been in the only importer to the Map Ta Phut regasification facility, which has storage capacity for 11.5 MTPA of LNG.
A second LNG terminal adjacent to the existing Map Ta Phut facility with a capacity of 7.5 MTPA is under construction and is expected to start operations by 2022.
A third Map Ta Phut expansion is also in the design phase, undergoing a feasibility study.
The Thai B. Grimm Group has been operating in the country since 1878 and the LNG licence was first applied for by the B. Grimm Power Co. subsidiary in 2016.
Preeyanart Soontornwata, the President of B. Grimm Power, said the company planned to use the LNG acquired through the licence to fuel five gas-fired small power producer (SPP) plants under construction.
SPP plants in Thailand sell electricity to the state grid at up to 90 megawatts, while the remaining capacity can be sold to private buyers through a private power purchase agreement.
The five Grimm Group plants, all in the Eastern Economic Corridor, had their concessions renewed by the Energy Regulatory Commission earlier in 2020.
“B.Grimm acquired an LNG Shipper licence from the ERC in the amount of 650,000 tons per year for supplying the LNG to the company’s combined cycle power plants from 2022,” said that statement from the company President, Mrs Preeyanart.
“The use of LNG is expected to support fuel cost management for electricity generation,” she added.
Gulf Energy Development said its licence awarded earlier would be used to supply LNG to 19 of its small-scale power plants.
The company said in a separate statement that Hin Kong Power also won a licence as part of a joint venture with Gulf Energy.
The LNG licence awards come as Thailand plans to boost imports with a new terminal near the single operating facility at Map Ta Phut, which last year imported 5 MTPA of LNG, mostly from Qatar and Malaysia.
The 5 MTPA of imports was still 14 percent more than the previous year when 4.4 MTPA was delivered.