By Watcharapong Thongrung
The Energy Ministry will focus more next year on promoting natural gas for vehicles (NGV), gasohol, and palm-oil-based biodiesel, according to Minister Pongsak Ruktapongpisal.
He told executives of Toyota Motor (Thailand) of this plan during a meeting yesterday as the carmaker wanted some insight into the ministry’s policy so it could determine its own policy next year.
Regarding NGV, Toyota said owners of cars that use this fuel had complained that the country does not have enough NGV stations. It has urged the ministry to look into this.
Pongsak said his ministry had instructed PTT to increase the number of its NGV stations rapidly, and there had been some progress.
He added that the ministry had promoted the use of gasohol, especially E85, which is 85 per cent ethanol. It has also promoted the use of B7 (7-per-cent) biodiesel to replace B5. Toyota suggested that Thailand should focus on the development of either B20 or the bio-hydrogenated diesel (BHD), instead of B7.
Pongsak noted that Toyota and PTT were jointly conducting a research and development project on BHD. Besides benefiting the palm-oil industry, BHD would benefit car users, as its price would be lower than that of B5.
The price of B5 is Bt22-Bt25 per litre.
In the middle of next month Pongsak will invite all carmakers to discuss the ministry’s policies.
The ministry also plans to encourage truck operators switch to liquefied natural gas and will encourage more interested parties to invest in setting up LNG stations.