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Thailand's PTT considering investment in Indonesia coal

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World Coal,

Thailand's top energy firm PTT Pcl expects coal in Indonesia to find sustained demand despite recent price weakness. The company is therefore considering investing in coal projects in Indonesia and listing its foreign investment arm there.

"We have seen regional demand for coal. It is still important for Thailand's power development plan which has coal-fired power plants," PTT Chairman Piyasvasti Amranand told a shareholders' meeting.

“Coal prices have bottomed out and are expected to be steady and eventually recover” he said.

Thailand, which uses natural gas for almost 70% of its power generation, wants to boost coal's portion to 30% from about 10% now, PTT Chief Executive Pailin Chuchottaworn said.

PTT is considering listing its wholly owned foreign investment arm PTT Energy Resources Co (PTTER), which already has interests in Indonesian coal mining, on the Indonesia stock market to facilitate the development of its business there, CFO Wirat Uanarumit told reporters.

"We have long planned to list PTTER on the Indonesian bourse but global coal prices continue to fall. Now we are studying the details and waiting for the right timing," Wirat said.

PTTER also has interests in a gas pipeline business in Egpyt and a hydropower project in Laos.

PTT, which is in the process of selling its palm oil business in Indonesia, recently cut its five-year investment budget to reflect volatile oil prices.

At home, PTT plans to spend 5 billion baht (US$154 million) on capacity expansion at its two gas separation plants, which should boost production of liquefied petroleum gas by about 100 000 to 300 000 t a year, another executive said.

State-controlled PTT is also looking for opportunities to invest abroad and the company has cash flow of about 60 billion to 80 billion baht, the executive said.

Edited from source by Joseph Green

Source: Reuters

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