The past few years have been a positive period for LNG in Thailand. In 2021, imports grew for the sixth year running, reaching 6.69 mt – a 19.25% increase from 5.61 mt in 2020, data by Thailand’s Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO) shows. In 2020, though the annual growth was, at 6.25%, more modest than in the previous three years due to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, LNG imports surpassed natural gas pipeline imports for the first time ever.
This growth has been driven by Thailand’s need to replace declining domestic production of natural gas and imports via pipeline from Myanmar, a need that also led the country to liberalise its gas market. In December 2019, state utility EGAT broke the LNG import monopoly of Thai national oil company (NOC) PTT when it received its first ever cargo from Malaysia’s Petronas.