Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thailand set gas pipeline rental fees for PTT

Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:30am EST

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BANGKOK, Jan 24 (Reuters) - PTT PTT.BK, Thailand's biggest energy firm, said on Thursday it would pay the government 2-3 billion baht ($60.50-$90.74 million) in retroactive rental fees for use of gas pipelines between 2001 to 2006.

The government would charge PTT no more than 550 million baht per year to rent pipelines the firm was ordered to return to the state, Energy Minister Piyasvasti Amaranandtold reporters.

"The rental fees charged to PTT will be similar to income tax calculation," Piyasvasti said of tax rates ranging from 5-35 percent.

Last month, a top court rejected a lawsuit by activists seeking to reverse the 2001 partial privatisation of PTT, of which the government still owns about 69 percent.

But it ordered PTT, the country's largest listed firm, to return the pipelines and some land, together accounting for 10 percent of PTT's assets, to the state.

PTT shares fell 2.04 percent to 288 baht on Thursday, when the main Thai stock index .SETI dropped 1.63 percent. ($1=33.06 Baht) (Reporting by Trisanat Kongkhunthian; Writing by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Michael Battye)

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