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Bangkok Post
Bangkok Post

Fuel consumption set to rise by 9.2%

Thai energy consumption is expected to rise by 9.2% this year, based on an economic growth estimate of 2.5-3.5%, driven by an uptick in economic activities as pandemic restrictions ease, says the Energy Policy and Planning Office (Eppo).

The amount of energy demand should stand at 2,034 kilo-barrels of oil equivalent per day (KBOED).

The projection is based on an average Dubai crude oil price of US$95-105 per barrel this year and a foreign exchange rate of 33.3-34.3 baht per US dollar.

In the first quarter of this year, energy consumption stood at 1,560 KBOED because many lockdown measures were still in place, though the figure still exceeded the 1,516 KBOED recorded in the first quarter of 2019, before the pandemic hit Thailand.

Eppo director-general Wattanapong Kurovat said lower Covid-19 infection rates, the reopening of the country and gradual economic restoration would fuel demand for almost all types of fuel, except natural gas, this year.

The global supply of liquefied national gas (LNG) remains unstable.

In Thailand, gas consumption is expected to decline by 9.5% as LNG prices have skyrocketed, following problems with LNG production.

Consumption of refined oil, including gasohol, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas, jet fuel and fuel oil, is expected to increase by 12.3% to 135 million litres per day this year, up from 120 million litres per day last year.

Domestic lignite and coal imports are also expected to rise by 6.8%, driven mainly by more imports from many countries within Asia-Pacific.

In the power sector, electricity consumption is expected to rise by 2.5% to 195,328 gigawatt-hours from 190,468GWh last year.

The peak period for electricity demand occurred at 2.30pm on April 28, according to the Eppo.

The energy consumption forecast for 2022 may be revised down if global energy prices continue to increase more than the range of the Dubai crude oil price, said Mr Wattanapong.

In another development, the Eppo plans to suggest that the National EV Policy Committee maintain the electricity rate for electric vehicle (EV) charging at as low as 2.6 baht per kilowatt-hour in order to promote the EV industry.

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