July 13, 2016 / 7:57 AM / 3 years ago

Thailand's PTT plans to invest more in Malaysia

BANGKOK, July 13 (Reuters) - PTT Pcl, Thailand’s top energy firm, plans to invest more in neighbouring Malaysia including cooperation in a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, Chief Financial Officer Wirat Uanarumit said on Wednesday.

State-controlled PTT is studying the possibility of joint investments in several projects, Wirat said but declined to give further details.

PTT has been in talks with several LNG suppliers to secure long-term energy supplies as Thailand uses natural gas for almost 70 percent of its power generation.

PTT already has a joint venture, Trans Thai-Malaysia (Thailand) Ltd, with Malaysia’s Petronas to overlook the gas pipeline and gas separation plant projects since 2000.

In June, PTT cut its 2016 investment budget by 15 percent to 43.31 billion baht ($1.23 billion), which is part of its five-year plan to spend 297 billion baht during 2016-2020.

Wirat said the investment cut was mainly due to delay in the government’s infrastructure investments, while PTT was still looking for opportunities to buy more oil and gas assets after a decline in global oil prices.

The company is also considering to buy back its dollar-denominated debt to manage its excess liquidity and reduce financial costs, the CFO said.

PTT group has cash of about 300 billion baht ($8.53 billion) and debt of about 600 billion baht, of which 30 percent is denominated in foreign currencies, Wirat told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar.

$1 = 35.2000 baht Reporting by Manunphattr Dhanananphorn and Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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