Thursday, 29 January 2009

Thailand’s PTT investing P500m in Philippine gas stations

By Alena Mae S. Flores
The Manila Standard
http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=business3_jan29_2009

PTT Philippines Corp., a subsidiary of PTT Public Co. Ltd. of Thailand, will invest P500 million for its expansion plans in the country this year, a ranking company official said.

PTT Philippines president Siripong Phoungpaka told reporters that it would spend bulk of the investment for the construction of additional retail stations around the country.

Siripong said the company planned to put up around 16 stations in selected areas this year, bringing its total number of stations to 50 by the end of 2009.

Each station costs between P5 million and P25 million, depending on the location and size.

He said PTT would spend P6 million for the blending of its facilities to comply with the mandate to mix gasoline with 10 percent ethanol starting Feb. 6.

Ethanol, also called gasohol, is an alternative fuel source produced from organic matter. It is a byproduct of fermented carbohydrates ,such as starch or sugar found in agricultural crops.

PTT yesterday launched its Performa 95 plus (E10) gasoline at its Park n’ Fly Service Station in Pasay City.

Siripong said PTT would buy its ethanol requirements from Thailand. PTT’s parent company, owns 11 ethanol plants in Thailand.

“An ethanol plant costs about P1 billion. Our plan to invest in an ethanol plant in the Philippines will depend on market demand,” the official said.

He said E10 in Thailand cost around P8 to P9 per liter cheaper than regular gasoline, which makes the product more attractive to consumers.

Siripong said the government of Thailand through the energy fund subsidizes the price difference as a form of promotion for alternative fuels.

He said the Philippine government can reduce the cost of ethanol by P3 to P4 per liter during the start of the ethanol program by removing the excise tax on imported fuels.

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