Energy Ministry to postpone nuclear plant construction

Thailand Ministry of Energy will ask the National Committee of Energy Policy and Planning Wednesday to postpone the country’s nuclear plant construction plan for another three years.

Boonsong Kerdklang, acting director general of the Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO), said the upcoming meeting on April 27 may be the last for this administration if Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva dissolves parliament.

Among the plans awaiting action are the construction of two 1000 MW nuclear power plants, to be postponed for another three years. The original plan was to have the two nuclear power plants ready to supply electricity in 2020 and 2021, while the ministry will instead propose building three 800 MW natural gas combined cycle power plants to prevent a shortage of the electricity supply.

Mr Boonsong said the reason why his ministry is postponing construction is because the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) viewed Thailand as not yet ready regarding the facilities legal basis and in achieving understanding among the related agencies.

Thailand last month halted its plans to build nuclear facilities in the country as a result of the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan, while the Energy Ministry was ordered to review its plans for the new facilities.

The country plans to have five nuclear power facilities in provinces across the kingdom with a combined generating capacity of 5,000 megawatts by 2025 under its 20-year power development plan. (MCOT online news)