Egat plans B20bn gas unit

Construction News

Sept. 24 – The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) will build a new 20- billion-baht gas-fired power unit at its existing North Bangkok plant this year to help meet growing demand.

Egat governor Sutat Patmasiriwat said that construction of the 800-megawatt unit could start next year for operation from 2015. The move is aimed at addressing a predicted shortfall in power supplies from the delay of two gas-fired power plants in Chachoengsao province.

The delayed plants were awarded to independent power producers but face strong opposition by local communities.

One of them belongs to Siam Energy with a planned capacity of 1,600 MW, and the other to National Power Supply Co with a capacity of 540 MW, previously scheduled to start up in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

“If no new capacity enters the power grid at that time, total power output reserves will about 9% of total capacity, below global reserve standards of 15%. To ensure power security, Egat has decided to move up construction of the second North Bangkok unit by two years to offset the delayed plants,” he said.

“If the new unit can start up in 2015, our reserves will rise to more than 10%. That will help even though it will still fall below global standards.”

Besides the new unit, Egat has expanded capacity at its Wang Noi and Chana power plants, with cumulative capacity of 1,600 MW.

“But expansion of only only two plants will still result in a shortfall, especially in the absence of the 540-MW IPP, so we need to build the other one [at the North Bangkok plant],” said Mr Sutat.

Egat also plans to delay the scheduled retirement of ageing power generation units such as in Bang Pakong in order to maintain reserves at proper levels.

Peak power demand in May rose by 15% to 24,009 MW against projected growth of 6% or 700 MW this year, said Mr Sutat.

He said Thailand‘s power reserves reached a historic low of 5% in 1994 when the economy was booming but topped 20% after it crashed in 1997.

Egat yesterday started synchronising its 700-MW North Bangkok power plant, worth 17.3 billion baht and constructed by a consortium of Sumitomo Corporation, Hitachi and Italian-Thai Development Plc. The project’s approved environmental impact assessment also covers future capacity.


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