Thailand - Energy and power

From 1975 to 1994, total installed generating capacity increased from 2,755,000 kW to 13,861,000 kW. In 2000, 57.8% of primary energy consumed was derived from oil, 25% from natural gas, 9.3% from coal, and the remainder from other sources. Distribution, however, is far from adequate, with only about 20% of the population having access to the system. The Metropolitan Electrical Authority serves Bangkok; the Provincial Electricity Authority provides service to the rest of the kingdom. Total national output in 2000 was 94,300 million kWh, up from 15,948 million kWh in 1981 and only 1,092 million kWh in 1964. Fossil fuels accounted for 92.3% hydropower for 6.3%, and other renewable sources for the rest. Consumption of electricity in 2000 was 90.3 billion kWh. Installed capacity in 2001 was 20.8 billion kW.

Thailand is heavily dependent on imports of foreign oil. Proven and potential domestic deposits were estimated at 516 million barrels in early 2002, but exploitation and development have been inhibited by declining oil prices. In 2001, crude oil production amounted to about 175,027 barrels per day, mostly from the Sirikit oil field. Natural gas reserves were estimated at about 354 billion cu m in early 2002, and production has been aided by the exploitation of new fields in the Gulf of Thailand. Production in 2000 was put at 16 billion cu m, almost double the 1995 amount. The state-owned oil company, PTT, was partially privatized in 2001 when the government divested 32% of its stake. In 1999, the government introduced a new energy policy favoring increased use of natural gas. By 2001 it had completed the conversion of nearly all oil-fired power plants to natural gas.

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