"Today's signing stemmed from the Joint Cooperation Committee of PTT and PETROVIETNAM, set up on December 1, 1997, to promote bilateral cooperation on natural gas matters, and subsequently exploration, production, and downstream businesses." said Dr.Chitrapongse.
After today's signing, both sides will set up a joint working group to look into the feasibility of the project, which will initially focus on the 12 industrial zones of Ho Chi Minh City. This study will be completed by 2005. If found feasible, the project will see a joint-venture company set up to undertake natural gas distribution in the industrial zones. The company could then expand its feasibility studies to other cities and towns with similar potential for commercial gas utilization.
"Besides serving as a good starting point for PETROVIETNAM 's and PTT's natural gas businesses, this could well be the first time that PTT has ventured outside Thailand to invest in gas distribution pipelines. Today's signing could be the first of several other project milestones between the two countries." PTT's Senior Executive Vice President added.
Since 1995, PETROVIETNAM has developed gas from the White Tiger field to fuel a power plant and has developed the Lan Tay, Lan Do field of the Nam Con Son basin in the southeast of the country. It is also planning to connect natural gas from Block B to the southwest of the country soon.
Apart from using the gas as a power generation fuel, Vietnam plans to develop natural gas for use in industrial plants. PTT, meanwhile, has expertise in the natural gas business, including gas distribution pipeline systems, dating back to the late 1970?s. Therefore, the complementary cooperation between the two countries could yield both financial benefits and technology transfer.
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