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Reuters-Thai power plant seen takin

Subject: Reuters-Thai power plant seen taking Myanmar gas in August

Wednesday July 7, 8:49 am Eastern Time
Thai power plant seen taking Myanmar gas in August
BANGKOK, July 7 (Reuters) - Thailand should be able to take around 60 mmcfd
of natural gas from Myanmar's Yadana gas project in August after repeated
delays in completion of a big power plant, the Petroleum Authority of
Thailand said on Wednesday.

Piti Yimprasert, president of PTT Gas, said an initial 200-megawatt combined
cycle unit would be installed at the Ratchaburi Power Plant in August.

``The latest I heard from the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand
(EGAT) was that the power plant would be equipped with a 200-megawatt unit
in August, and it can start taking around 60 mmcfd of natural gas from
Yadana,'' he said.

``This is a good development. It would make it easier for us to conclude the
deal with the concessionaires of Yadana projects. The fact that EGAT thinks
the delay was not serious caused a lot of trouble for us,'' he said.

Yadana concessionaires include Total , PTT Exploration and Production and
Unocal (NYSE:UCL - news).

PTT is Thailand's gas monopoly, buying from producers and selling to end
users. Its biggest client is the state-owned EGAT.

PTT signed a 30-year take-or-pay contract with the Yadana concessionaires to
start taking gas from the offshore project in Myanmar from August 1998 to
use as fuel for EGAT's Ratchaburi power plant in western Thailand.

The contract required that PTT take an initial 65 mmcfd, rising to 525 mmcfd
over 15 months. However, PTT has been able to take only five mmcfd so far.

While PTT completed its pipeline to transport the gas from the border to the
plant on time, EGAT has repeatedly put back the completion date for the

But PTT's part as buyer has meant that although it could not take the gas as
agreed, it must pay the first bill of $62 million.

The company is now negotiating with Yadana concessionaires about the
payment, seeking some discounts on the grounds that the concessionaires
failed to meet contract requirements on energy content in the natural gas
piped. The talks are expected to be concluded this month.