Thailand's PTT Cuts 2014 Investment Due to Political Unrest


BANGKOK, April 16 (Reuters) - PTT Pcl, Thailand's top energy firm, said it plans to cut its 2014 investment budget by as much as 30 percent to 60 billion baht ($1.86 billion) as the country's ongoing political unrest delays the launch of new projects.

This is the second consecutive year that state-controlled PTT is scaling back spending plans after expanding aggressively in recent years.

"We are putting several new projects on hold, pending approval from the new government," Chief Financial Officer Surong Bulakul told reporters.

PTT will review the budget again pending the forming of a new government, he said.

Anti-government protesters have hold street rallies for five months and disrupted a Feb. 2 general election that was nullified by a court in March.

PTT, the fourth-biggest oil and gas firm by market value in the Asia-Pacific region, had set a budget of 87 billion baht for 2014, mostly for its core gas business, including a gas pipeline expansion project. It aims to invest $10 billion during 2014-2018.

The 300-km onshore pipeline project that links eastern Rayong province to northeastern Kaeng Khoi is facing delays after its contractor was hit by liquidity problems and PTT is now forced to seek a new one, Surong said. ($1 = 32.2500 Thai Baht)

(Reporting by Pisit Changplayngam; Writing by Khettiya Jittapong)


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