Bangkok (VNA) – The state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) is preparing to develop the country’s first floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) worth 24.5 billion baht (807.8 million USD) to support its business plan to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from 2020.

Local media reported that Egat aims to be an LNG shipper for power generation as the Thai government plans to liberalise the business.

The National Energy Policy Council (NEPC) approved Egat’s plan to develop the investment project in 2017.

The FSRU will be located in a 20-kilometre offshore area in the Gulf of Thailand. It will be 38km from a gas pipeline to Egat’s South Bangkok Power Plant in Samut Prakan.

The FSRU is an enormous barge designed to process LNG, which is then fed to the onshore power plant through a gas pipeline. The regasification process will be done offshore.

Nibong Ungkurapinan, head of Egat’s civil and coastal engineering department, said Egat decided on offshore instead of onshore because the former requires less land, less time for development and has less impact on surrounding communities.

An environmental impact assessment report is being considered by the Thai government. Egat expects approval by the first quarter of 2020.

The FSRU is expected to begin operation in 2024 with a capacity of 5 million tonnes per year for LNG./.

VNA