THE RIGHT MIX

Thailand 2017 | INDUSTRY & ENERGY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to General Anantaporn Kanjanarat, Minister of Energy of Thailand, on the role of LNG in Thailand's future energy security, learning from Qatar, and the impact of ASEAN.

General Anantaporn Kanjanarat
BIOGRAPHY
General Anantaporn Kanjanarat has a master’s degree in political science and an accomplished career in the military, having served in a number of rolls including Artillery Battery Commander and Logistics Staff Officer in the 103rd Artillery Battalion. Aside from being the Minister of Energy, he is an Advisor to the Prime Minister, a Member of the National Legislative Assembly, and chairman of a number of committees. He is also an Independent Director of Krung Thai Bank and Thai Airways International. He is a Knight Grand Cordon of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand.

What role do you see for LNG in Thailand's future energy security?

Today, Thailand imports LNG and LPG. LPG is used in every sector and every part of Thailand, be it households, transportation, or industrial use, and demand for LPG is increasing across the country, even though it is not increasing at the same rate as before. As for LNG, we import LNG and mix it with our own gas to produce electricity. This is part of our long-term electricity development plan in which we are trying to balance the portfolio so that LNG can play a larger role in the future.

What role does the Middle East play in terms of Thailand's efforts to secure energy independence?

Thailand and the Middle East have a longstanding relationship. As a net importer of energy, Thailand imports much of its oil and gas from the Middle East, mostly Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE. In terms of LNG, we mainly import from Qatar.

How can Thailand and Qatar work together to develop renewable resources, and how can Thailand learn from Qatar's economy and use it as a model for energy independence?

For the time being, Thailand and Qatar are not involved in any cooperation in terms of developing renewable energy resources. But Thailand is also committed to developing renewable energy technology, and in this regard we are probably number one in ASEAN, and in the top five in all of Asia. If Qatar were to want to undertake any partnerships or projects in renewable energy, Thailand would more than welcome the opportunity to work with them in this regard.

What impact will Thailand's joining the ASEAN Economic Community have on the energy needs of Thailand?

The ASEAN Economic Community is about connectivity, and Thailand is strategically placed in the heart of the ASEAN mainland, which means we could easily connect with neighboring countries' electricity power lines and grids, and also to natural gas pipelines. These kinds of connectivity mean that those resources can be optimized and that could bring these countries even closer together.