BANGKOK, 1 June 2001: Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), through its subsidiary PETRONAS NGV Sdn Bhd, today signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT), for the introduction of the natural gas-powered vehicles, the Enviro 2000, in Thailand. The MoU is part of a long-term approach to be undertaken by both parties to promote the use of natural gas for vehicles (NGV) and related NGV businesses in Thailand.
Under the MoU, both PETRONAS NGV and PTT will embark on a six-month Field Demonstration on the roads in Bangkok, Thailand involving five units of Enviro 2000, natural gas-powered vehicles. The Enviro 2000 vehicles have been used as taxis on the streets of Kuala Lumpur since 1998. In Thailand, the vehicles are expected to be utilised for public transportation as well as for other official use.
The field demonstration will also serve as part of PETRONAS’ overall plans to promote and create market awareness of NGV and Enviro 2000 outside Malaysia, in line with its continuous efforts to increase the usage of the cleaner, cheaper and environment-friendly alternative fuel.
The terms of the MoU also call for both parties to undertake a joint feasibility study on the development of other related NGV businesses in Thailand. These would include areas like NGV refuelling station construction and operation, promotion and marketing of NGV and production of bi-fuel and monofuel NGV vehicles in Thailand.
During the three-year MoU period, PETRONAS NGV will upon request provide technical assistance and expertise to PTT in relations to the development of regulations and safety standards of the NGV vehicles, refuelling stations and other related matters.
The MoU was the result of a series of discussions and visits to PETRONAS by PTT which is keen to emulate the way PETRONAS NGV develops and expands the NGV business in Malaysia.
In Malaysia, PETRONAS introduced the NGV programme as early as 1986 as part of its efforts to add value to the country’s abundant natural resources. Today, there are close to 4,000 NGV vehicles, including 1,000 units of Enviro 2000, on the road in and around Kuala Lumpur served by 21 NGV refuelling stations which receive their supply through pipeline or trailer systems. PETRONAS is looking for more opportunities to expand the business in the future both in Malaysia and overseas.
In the case of Thailand, last year, PTT commenced a pilot project to promote the use of natural gas for taxis in Thailand. Under the project, 100 units of taxis were successfully converted by PTT to run on bi-fuel system which operates on either natural gas or gasoline. Each vehicle can save an expense of 200-300 Baht/day as NGV is 7.09 Baht/litre gasoline equivalent (while gasoline is 16.79 Baht/litre).
By October 2001, the contractors awarded by PTT are expected to have converted another 500 units to bi-fuel system. A further 500 units will be completed by mid 2002. These vehicles will be served by 8 new NGV refuelling stations which will be completed by that time. The conversion programme requires a budget of 40 million Baht. Furthermore, PTT is planning to have 30 NGV refuelling stations by the year 2005, with a total investment of 1.4 billion Baht.
The exhaust emission by these NGV vehicles is well below EURO II limits on carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide. The vehicle can travel up to 480 km per filling of NGV rendering its performance equivalent to a petrol-powered vehicle. More importantly, these NGV vehicles can generate a significant saving on fuel expense.
At the signing ceremony held at the Head Office of Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT), Bangkok today, PETRONAS was represented by Mr. Muri Muhammad, Chairman of PNGV, and PTT was represented by Mr. Prasert Bunsumpun, President of PTT Gas.
Legal & Corporate Affairs