Thailand is on track to complete its LNG terminal at Rayong by 2011, according to a senior official from state-owned oil firm PTT Public Co. Ltd.

South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction Corp. will build the 5 million tonne per year terminal, 200km southeast of Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand. PTT apparently plans to double the terminal’s capacity at a later stage, as it ramps up LNG purchases from several sources to meet the country’s rising gas demand.

Wuttikorn Stithit, Vice-President of PTT’s supply department, told news agency OGJ that the company signed the contract in February to begin construction of the $700m terminal and had hoped, when it initially approached the market, that it would be ready in 2010.

Stithit noted how Thailand aims to become a strategic destination for LNG in the Asia Pacific region.

Qatargas will provide PTT with 1 million tonnes per year under a long-term agreement, beginning deliveries in the second quarter of 2011. Thailand, it seems, has the gas demand to secure the LNG with current consumption at 3.35 bcfd and demand expected to rise to 6.4 bcfd by 2020. Demand will be driven by power generation, industrial use, and petrochemicals, it is believed.