Published on December 22, 2007
"The debt has been cleared two years ahead of schedule, due to the increase in oil sale contributions at times of low global oil prices. The Oil Fund has been receiving a higher sum of Bt4 billion a month, from Bt2.3 billion earlier," Energy Minister Piyasvasti Amranand said yesterday.
Only Bt61 million in debt remains after Bt50 billion was paid by the interim government, he said.
Following the final settlement, oil retailers will still be required to contribute to the Oil Fund for every litre sold, with 50 satang of the contribution channelled to the Energy Conservation Fund to finance railway construction as per the National Energy Policy Council resolution of September 28.
The energy funds will be used to help construct rail networks in Bangkok and the provinces as part of the government's policy to reduce energy consumption as well as logistics costs.
Together with its regular levy of 18 satang per litre, the Energy Conservation Fund will receive 68 satang per litre, which will total about Bt1 billion a month, from the Oil Fund.
The Oil Fund plans to build up a reserve of about Bt10 billion by next December for addressing emergencies and promoting alternative fuels.
As of yesterday, oil retailers are paying the Oil Fund Bt4 per every litre for 95-octane petrol, Bt3.30 for 91-octane petrol, 30 satang for
gasohol 95, 20 satang for gasohol 91 and 70 satang for diesel. The Oil Fund subsidises biodiesel B5 at 10 satang per litre.
At the current levy on diesel of 70 satang per litre, the new government has room to reduce the diesel price by only 2 satang per litre, Piyasvasti said.
The Democrat Party is vowing to cut levies on diesel and biodiesel if it can form the government after the Sunday election.
Meanwhile, the National Energy Policy Council resolved at its meeting yesterday to bring forward the deadline for all diesel to be mixed with 2-per-cent biodiesel from April to February.
It also approved guidelines to encourage refiners to follow Euro IV standards ahead of schedule. The standards will be imposed in January 2012. Tentatively, refiners could win subsidies of 20-30 satang per litre for such oil output.
Some refiners like Thai Oil and Bangchak Petroleum can meet the standards by next quarter, ahead of other refiners.