Mott Macdonald’s role in world’s largest thin-film solar farm

Construction News

Mott Macdonald’s role in world’s largest thin-film solar farm

Global consultancy firm Mott MacDonald has strengthened its role in the Thai power business, having succeeded in securing financing from the Asian Development Bank, Kasikornbank, Bangkok Bank and Siam Commercial Bank for a solar farm in Lopburi.

The 73MW solar farm will feature the use of over 540,000 high-grade, thin-film solar panels mounted on fixed frames. Natural Energy Development Co Ltd (a joint venture between CLP Holdings, Diamond Generating Asia and Electricity Generating Public Company) will own the plant. The expected power generation represents a reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions of approximately 1.3 million over its projected 25-year operation.

Mott MacDonald reviewed the technical and commercial robustness of the plant design and project contracts to support the financing of the project. The consultancy used its experience with solar PV installations in Thailand, Europe and the Middle East to review and advise on solar resources, plant performance and structuring of performance guarantees under the project contracts.

Surasak Phanraungwong, Mott MacDonald’s project director, said the company is the market leader in technical due diligence and has a successful track-record in reviewing and advising on civil and electrical designs, as well as solar-energy yield performance, and the allocation of risks and responsibilities under project contracts.

The total investment in the project is approximately US$250 million (Bt8 billion). The new plant is due to begin operations by the end of 2011.

Earlier, the company was appointed by Thai National Power (TNP), which is owned by International Power, as Owner’s Engineer for TNP2, a new 110MW gas-fired co-generation project in Rayong.

The TNP2 project will be located on a site adjacent to International Power’s existing 143MW TNP gas-fired power plant. The majority of the output from the new plant (90MW) will be sold to the Energy Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA), with the balance of up to 20MW sold to industrial users. The new plant, which is due to be operational in 2012, will be owned and operated as a 100-per-cent subsidiary of the existing TNP project. The total project cost is estimated to be Bt4.4 billion.

A total of Bt4.1 billion will be raised by International Power, representing a new term loan to fund the new TNP2 project, and the re-leveraging of the existing asset. The debt-equity ratio of the two projects combined will be 3:1. The balance of Bt300 million will be provided by International Power. The financing banks are Kasikornbank and Bank of Ayudhya.

As the designated owner’s engineer, Mott MacDonald will be responsible for the full design review of the contractors’ work, together with equipment inspections, site supervision, commissioning and testing. The new gas-fired co-generation plant will provide greater efficiency by generating 110MW of power through two General Electric LM6000F gas turbines, as well as utilising the associated waste through heat-recovery boilers and a single steam turbine.

From The Nation website

20 July 2010

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