The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) is preparing to built a new 600-megawatt power plant to replace the Mae Mo generating facility in Lampang, which is to be decommissioned after operating for 25 years, to increase production efficiency.
The new power plant is expected to require investment of between Bt10 billion and Bt20 billion.
Egat governor Sutat Patamasiriwat said the four generators that the authority would decommission have total capacity of 600MW, or 150MW each.
He said the 600MW replacement plant would use clean coal technology. The power-plant project is now in the public-hearing process. It has been added to the country’s power development plan yet, but this should not face any difficulty, as the project is to replace generators that are nearly at the end of their lives.
“We are confident that the new power plant will gain support from the community. Importance has been given to the [proposed new] power plants in Mae Mo producing less pollution,” Sutat said.
Thanakorn Poothavee, deputy governor of Egat, said the agency was in the process of selecting environmentally friendly technology for the project.
To comply with environmental and health standards, he said the authority expected construction to take four or five years. Therefore, it is expected to supply power to the system by 2019.
Thanakorn said the Mae Mo coal mine that supplies the power plant had 500 million tonnes of reserves, enough for 30 years. The plants consume 16 million tonnes of coal annually. “We are sure that the coal reserves will be sufficient to supply the new power plant for 25 years,” he said.
He added that the new power plant would consume less coal while producing at the same capacity. Each of the four old generators uses 4 million tonnes of coal a year. However, their replacements are expected to use only 2.6 million tonnes annually, reflecting their better efficiency.