It is necessary for more power generating plants to be built in the South of Thailand and the Energy Ministry will have to decide the locations of the plants and the types of fuel to be used with them in three months, Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan said on Friday (Dec 22).
Mr Siri said he has instructed the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) to review the locations of power plants to be built in the South and the types of fuel to be used with them before the due completion of the new power developmen plan (PDP) on March 31, 2018.
“Today, we have not reached a conclusion on whether the type of fuel must be coal or not. We have not ruled out the possibility of using coal. We have to balance between the stability of power for the South and the types of fuel to be used,” said Mr Siri.
The Energy Minister’s comment came as environmentalist and some Songkhla residents are protesting against Egat’s coal-fired power plant in Songkhla’s Thepha district.
Mr Siri said he has also instructed the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to review the electricity pricing structure after finding that the government’s adder tariff granted to renewable power producers is not worth the expense and not fair to power users throughout the country.
Kornrasit Pakchotanon, the Egat governor, said the South Region needs as high as 2,600 megawatts of electricity for use. However, the current power generating capacity for the region is only about 2,000 megawatts, plus 140 megawatts of electricity from renewable energy.
The power situation is the South is, therefore, critical and the current power production may not be enough for consumption in March-April of 2020 because the plans to build power plants and transmission lines have been delayed.
Mr Kornrasit said the existing main power plants in the South are not yet enough. Therefore, it is necessary to build more power plants in the region.