Egat to expand via 40-billion-baht expansion plan for Thailand's power supply

Construction News Laos

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) is proceeding with its 40-billion-baht expansion plan aimed at securing Thailand’s power supply.

Governor Sutat Patmasiriwat said the state utility would build the plants on the premises of its existing power plants at Chana (Chana Unit 2) in Songkhla province and Wang Noi in Ayutthaya.

The two plants would produce 800 megawatts each with construction already started, slated for commercial operation in April 2014.

Mr Sutat said construction of the two plants needs to be accelerated, as Thailand’s electricity reserve is likely to fall below 9% of total output in 2014, under the reserve requirement of 15%.

Egat is preparing an environmental and health impact assessment report for the replacement programme for the fourth to seventh units of its coal-fired Mae Moh power plant in Lampang that expires soon.

The new electricity generators will expand power capacity of those units from 150 MW each to 600 MW, a combined capacity of 2,400 MW, up from 600 MW now.

The replacement programme is estimated to cost around 30 billion baht. If the process goes smoothly, Egat expects these power generators will begin commercial operation in 2017.

“New plant development would run into protests by the surrounding community,” said Mr Sutat.

In light of health concerns and protests, the Energy Ministry put off plans for nine coal-fired power plants to 2019 from 2014 as was planned earlier. It also postponed plans for five nuclear power plants by three years to 2023.

The country’s current 20-year power development plan calls for five nuclear plants with a combined generating capacity of 5,000 MW out of the 30,000-MW total estimated to meet demand in 2030.

Egat also hopes to secure 1,220 MW of supply from the Xayaburi hydropower plant in Laos. The final decision on building the controversial dam rests with the Laotian government. The 115-billion-baht project is still expected to start commercial operation in 2019.

Mr Sutat said the 1,200-MW Hutgyi hydro-electric plant in Burma could be another source for Egat.

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