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Thai energy advocates call for biofuels investment

Experienced energy advocates In Thailand have called for the country to step up its development on biodiesel and ethanol production by working with nearby countries.

Former executive director of the Petroleum Institute of Thailand, Khunying Thongtip Ratanarat, believes joint development programmes with the likes of Indonesia and Malaysia would help reduce Thailand’s reliance on oil imports.

Ratanarat was quoted as saying: ‘We should get more serious about joint development of biofuels as, in the future, oil price will definitely increase. It will also help strengthen the Asean Economic Community as we could all grow, blend, sell and consume by ourselves’.

That point was backed up by Thammasat University economist Praipoi Koomsap who is worried about Thailand’s crude oil supply from the Middle East if continuing conflicts occur in the region.

He says Thailand imports over 50% of its crude from that part of the world, and as energy demands are rising about 5% a year, Asean should start thinking seriously about alternatives fuels.

Thailand currently imports oil to the tune of THB800 billion ($25.1 billion) per annum and this is set to rise over the next 15 years.