Gulf Energy Development to co-develop 770-megawatt Pak Lay hydropower project on the Mekong River in Xayaburi province, Laos
Gulf Energy Development Plc has teamed up with a Chinese state enterprise to co-develop the 770-megawatt Pak Lay hydropower project in Laos on the Mekong River.
The plant, which is based on run-of-the-river hydroelectric technology, should not impact water volume in the river, according to Gulf’s statement.
Development projects on a section of the Mekong spanning 4,909 kilometres in the Indochina region are carefully monitored out of concerns over possible negative changes to the river’s ecosystem.
The technology uses the natural flow of the river to generate electricity, with no large reservoir and no water diverting from the Mekong. This results in an equal amount of water inflow and outflow.
Yupapin Wangviwat, Gulf’s chief financial officer, said the company’s new investment supports the government’s policy of promoting clean energy as Thailand is committed to achieving carbon neutrality, a balance between carbon dioxide emissions and absorption, by 2050, and a net-zero balance between greenhouse gas emissions and absorption by 2065.
Gulf said it recognises the importance of climate change and decarbonisation and has thus developed business strategies that emphasise investments in renewable energy businesses.
Gulf and Chinese enterprise Sinohydro (Hong Kong) Holding Co (SHK) are developing the project together, with state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) as the electricity off-taker.
Ms Yupapin said Gulf and SHK plan to establish a joint venture to oversee the project, which is located in Pak Lay district, Xayaburi province.
The proportion of ownership and other new shareholders in the project, as well as the development costs, have yet to be concluded.
The new hydropower plant is scheduled to start operations on Jan 1, 2032.
Egat is expected to buy electricity from the plant at the average tariff rate of 2.69 baht per kilowatt-hour.
As of March last year, Thailand imported 5.72 gigawatts, or 12.2% of its total electricity supply, mostly from hydroelectric power plants and a coal-fired power plant in Laos, according to Egat’s website.