Consumers warned of looming higher electricity, gas prices
Thailand’s biggest energy conglomerate PTT has warned
consumers they face higher electricity and natural gas prices next year,
after the company’s decision to charge electricity producers market rates
for its gas.
PTT President Prasert Bunsumpan said its current subsidy
cost the company six billion baht. He warned that as natural gas prices
climbed along with the price of oil, the cost of electricity would
inevitably rise in 2006 when PTT pulled the plug on its supply of discount
“I believe that electricity tariffs should more
accurately reflect actual costs. In this respect, electricity tariffs are
expected to rise during the first half of 2006 due to peak demand in
summer,” he said.
The state power utility EGAT relies mainly on oil for its
generating needs, but is attempting to use more natural gas to help lower
Mr. Prasert said the use of natural gas was likely to
skyrocket in future, outpacing the use of oil and coal. The current
consumption rate of three billion cubic feet per day is projected to rise to
five billion per day in five years time and to eight billion over the next
PTT was working on plans to build gas distribution
pipelines and to secure
new natural gas supplies, he said.
Tesco Lotus assisting Tsunami rebuilding effort
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
Tesco Lotus will hold a special commemorative collection
to assist people seeking to rebuild their lives following the tsunami of
Moneys raised from the collection, which will take place
in all stores from Dec 16, 2005 until Jan 05, 2006, will be donated to the
Princess Sirindhorn Fund and earmarked specifically for tsunami relief
“We are nearly one year on from the tragic events of
December 26 last year. Progress in rebuilding the communities impacted by
the tsunami has been achieved, but many people are still suffering either
commercially or personally from its effects,” said Tesco Lotus Chief
Executive, Jeff Adams.
“Perhaps the most important way we can honor the memory
of those lost, is to do our best to help others rebuild their lives. The
Sirindhorn Fund has honored us by agreeing to receive the funds we collect,
and ensure that all proceeds will be spent specifically for rebuilding
projects in the South.”
Bird flu prompts heavy investment in secure poultry farms
Producers are investing billions of baht
in enclosed chicken farms – thanks to the bird flu outbreak, according to the Board of Investment (BOI).
Traditional open-air poultry farms were being abandoned
because birds from protected facilities were fetching higher export
prices, said Mrs. Vibulphan Juntarashote, BOI assistant secretary-general.
The BOI was promoting the enclosed farming system by
extending privileges such as exemption of import duties for machinery and
the waiving of corporate tax for eight years. Qualification for other
BOI-related privileges would depend on the location of the farms.
Mrs. Vibulphan said to date, the BOI had received
applications from 33 such projects involving a total investment of 3.1
billion baht. Applications covering another 20 enclosed farm projects, worth
one billion baht, were expected to be lodged next year.
Applicants were individual poultry farmers and
corporations who had contract
farming deals with conglomerates. The applicants were investing between
30-60 million baht in these ventures. Apart from the BOI, she said the
Government Savings Bank and the SMEs Bank were also eager to offer support.
The enclosed farming system enables strict hygiene
standards to be imposed at every step of production to conform with the
import requirements of major markets.
Mr. Siripong Arunratana, deputy managing director of the
country’s largest chicken producer CPF, said the company had received
consistent orders for cooked chicken meat due for delivery in 2006, boding
well for the export industry’s outlook next year. He estimated that
Thailand should be able to export 400,000 tonnes of cooked chicken meat
worth 50 billion baht next year, representing a nearly 40 per cent increase
on this year’s 280,000 tonnes.