Rolls-Royce expects to win contracts to supply generators to four or five SPP (small power producer) projects in Thailand over the next five years, at a combined value of US$100 million, or nearly Bt3 billion.
“Thailand is now the most active market in Asean for sales of Rolls-Royce power-generation solutions,” said Mahendra Singh Chauhan, senior Asia-Pacific sales leader for power generation. “The Thai government plans to have 20 SPP projects with upwards of 2,000 megawatts of power generation, requiring more than 40 gas-turbine installations, over the next five to 10 years.”
Chauhan said Thailand’s Power Development Plan provided huge incentives for very small power producers (VSPPs) and SPPs and had targeted that 20 per cent of energy will come from renewable sources by 2022.
He noted that Thailand’s power demand in 2009 totalled 22.3 gigawatts. Its energy-demand growth is the second-fastest in Asean, behind Vietnam’s, and by 2025 demand will have grown to 54.59GW.
Thailand is a net importer of energy, consuming 5.5 times as much as is produced in the country. Energy security is critical, with many large energy companies, on the strength of the baht, looking at investments and acquisitions outside Thailand. “By 2021, it is estimated that Thailand will import 28 per cent of its power from neighbouring countries,” Chauhan said.
However, it is also important that while Thailand maximises its domestic power generation, it achieves a balance between alternative sources of fuel and further exploration for oil and gas within its borders.
Thailand imports both oil and natural gas to supplement domestic production levels. Natural gas currently accounts for 74 per cent of power production and Thailand is looking to reduce its reliance on this source to 38 per cent by 2021.
Rolls-Royce will approach the Thai market with its Trent 60 engine, an advanced aero-derivative gas turbine.
The company is also looking to sell more aircraft engines in Thailand. Thai Airways International and Bangkok Airways are key customers of Rolls-Royce. THAI is expected to require 40-50 aircraft engines in the next five years.
Rolls-Royce operates a maintenance centre in Thailand to service customers in the country.