Egat delays nuclear for new gas power plants in Thailand
The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) will build new gas-fired power generators to replace thermal-powered units scheduled to be retired in the Bang Pakong and South Bangkok power plants.
The construction is in line with the government’s decision to delay nuclear power development for at least three years and develop gas-fired plants instead.
The current power development plan calls for Thailand to have five nuclear plants with combined generating capacity of 5,000 megawatts.
The first two were scheduled to start operating in 2020 and 2021, but recent events in Japan and concerns about a general lack of preparedness have prompted authorities to rethink nuclear development.
”Some thermal generators in those two power plants will be retired over the next several years, and we’ll go with a combined cycle instead,” said Egat governor Sutat Patmasiriwat.
The Bang Pakong plant has four thermal generators with a combined capacity of 2,000 MW, while the South Bangkok facility has four with a combined capacity of 1,200 MW.
Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Plc (Ratch) and the Egco Group Plc, in which Egat holds 45% and 25% stakes, respectively, are aggressively expanding their investments in foreign energy sectors, said Mr Sutat.
Egat expects to see more than 100 billion baht invested in foreign energy markets in the coming years, mainly in Australia, Burma, India, Indonesia, Laos and the Philippines.
The new investment will be channelled mainly through wholly owned Egat International Co, for which the parent recently requested the cabinet increase registered capital to 17 billion baht from 200 million baht now.
Established in 2007, Egat International oversees all investments outside Thailand.
Mr Sutat said it now operated five projects, while Ratchaburi was in negotiations for nearly 10.