Egco floats alternative to Krabi project

Construction News Myanmar

Egco plans to use the area nearby its Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Khanom district to develop a gas-fired power plant. Photo courtesy of Egco

Electricity Generating Plc (Egco) says it may use space next to its Khanom facility in Nakorn Si Thammarat to develop a gas-fired plant if a coal-fired plant planned for Krabi fails to materialise.

The existing Khanom gas-fired plant is being developed as a repowering programme to replace an invalid unit with a power-generating capacity of 930 megawatts, said Egco president Sahust Pratuknukul.

The repowering programme is expected to start synchronising the power generator with transmission lines by next June.

Egco, Thailand’s second-biggest private power producer, has prepared an area for another plant in case the Krabi proposal gives way to villagers’ opposition.

An additional power plant would generate 900 MW of power for the region and cost about 70 billion baht.

“Electricity demand in Thailand’s southern region is rising, so we have to prepare another plan in case the coal-fired power plant in Krabi fails,” said Mr Sahust, who is retiring.

If the company has to build a new gas-fired power unit, energy policymakers may need to review plans for a floating liquefied natural gas facility. High-voltage transmission lines in the southern region will also require upgrades.

Egco has also readied some space at BLCP Co, which operates a single coal-fired power plant in Rayong’s Map Ta Phut, for an additional unit of coal-fired power generators.

The health and environmental impact assessment for the project began late last year and is in the final stage.

Thailand’s Power Development Plan (PDP) restricts the right to develop coal-fired plants to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat).

But Egco is confident that the PDP will be reviewed when the economic fundamentals change and that policymakers will make revisions to the regulations and eventually let Egco bid.

The additional coal-fired units that Egco plans to develop will have a power-generating capacity of 1,000 MW at a cost of 70 billion baht.

Egco is also preparing to develop a gas-fired power plant in Myanmar’s Dawei worth US$400 million as part of a 50:50 joint venture with Italian-Thai Development Plc.

If approved, the project would have a power-generating capacity of 370 MW, of which the first phase would put out 160 MW.

Chanin Chaonirattisai, Egat’s deputy governor for policy and planning, has been appointed as Egco’s new president. His job officially starts on Thursday.