Prime Minster of Thailand General Prayuth Chan-ocha. Government of Thailand.

Thailand’s military government is planning to grant private companies use of its state-controlled pipeline network.

Energy policy officials said Friday that the plan will launch in the middle of 2015.

The country’s pipelines are currently monopolized by state-owned PTT Pcl.

A statement issued by the National Energy Policy Council (NEPC) said PTT will spin off its pipeline business by transferring the assets to a new entity.

PTT will initially own 100 percent of the new entity but the country’s Finance Ministry may take a stake down the line.

The plan will allow private companies to access PTT’s gas pipelines and the links to its LNG receiving terminal, Reuters said.

PTT has 2,300 miles (3,715 km) of onshore and offshore gas pipelines and is building a new pipeline that is expected to cost around $1.22 billion (39 billion baht).

The pipelines have accounted for about 25 percent of PTT’s core earnings during the past three years.

The country’s energy officials also approved PTT’s plan to sell off its 36 percent stake in Star Petroleum Refining through an initial public offering during the second quarter of 2015.

Negotiations with Chevron, a 64 percent owner of Star, had delayed the IPO plan.

Star’s refinery has a capacity of 155,000 barrels per day, or 13.5 percent of the country’s total oil refining capacity.

Natural gas is used to generate 70 percent of Thailand’s energy needs.

The country has been struggling to find long term energy supplies as demand outstrips growth in output and reserve replacement, Reuters said.

The National Energy Policy Council (NEPC) is led by junta leader and Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha.


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