PTT has diversified into energy-maintenance services through a joint venture with a GE Energy subsidiary, Granite Service International.

GE is the market leader in providing maintenance services for gas-turbine electric systems, while PTTME has recently entered into a JV with Mitsubishi for steam-electric systems.

The JVs with GE and Mitsubishi will help PTTME expand into foreign markets. They will cooperate with PTTAromatics and Refining to provide services in countries in which PTTAR operates, such as Oman and Australia.

PTTME targets revenue of Bt1.6 billion this year, growing to Bt3 billion in three years. Some 80 per cent of total revenue will come from the PTT Group and the rest from independent and small power producers.

Meanwhile, Philippines Information Agency reported PTT is interested in tendering for the $1.2-billion natural-gas pipeline from Batangas to Manila (Batman 1) in. Other bidders are reportedly Marubeni of Japan, Gazprom of Russia and Petrochina.

Part of the Gloria Arroyo administration’s long-term Integrated Natural Gas Infrastructure Project, the 100-kilometer pipeline will connect Malampaya’s existing Palawan-Batangas gas pipeline to Manila, thus lowering the cost of natural gas used by Filipino households and the transport sector.

PTT diversifies to energy-maintenance services

A steep fall in exports caused by the global trade slump drove down industrial production and investment in the frst half of 2009. Business and consumer sentiment was further undermined by political tensions. Although there were signs the worst had passed by midyear, the economy is expected to contract by more than was projected in March. Modest growth is seen resuming in 2010. The tempo of recovery will depend in large part on the Government fully implementing two fscal packages, including a new public investment program. Those plans would be at risk if political disruptions recur. The consumer price index is now forecast to decline this year, before low-level infation returns next year.

Nevertheless, Thailand performs well compared to other countries in the region on many aspects of government regulations and regulatory procedures that facilitate business. According to the latest annual World Bank’s Doing Business report, in 2008 Thailand ranks 13th among over 180 countries and 4th in East Asia in the ease of doing business. The ease of doing business is measured by quantitative indicators of regulatory requirements and procedures in ten areas in the life cycle of typical small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the largest city in a country. They include, for example, the number days, steps, and cost needed to obtain business licenses, registering property, clear customs, pay taxes, and close a business. It only takes 2 steps and 2 days to register property in Thailand, on of the fastest in the world. Progress over the recent years has been particularly on the improvements in the customs process after the introduction of the internet-based customs clearance system, which has reduced the number of required documents and time taken to clear customs for exports.

Doing business in Thailand

A clear policy framework is needed, and the development direction set forth by the policy makers should be based on reliable information on the current status of infrastructure development. Systematic, periodic, and internationally-standard information collection within the infrastructure sector will provide Thai policy makers with good background with which to assess the current situation, identify bottlenecks, set clear policy direction, and prioritize projects more effectively .

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