Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp. will construct Thailand’s largest gas-fired power plant by capacity in a deal valued at roughly 65 billion yen ($625 million), tapping energy-efficient turbines by General Electric.
Sumitomo is to sign a contract with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand in 2017 and begin construction that year, with completion targeted for the end of 2019. The 1,400-megawatt thermal facility will be built as part of an upgrade of the Bang Pakong Power Plant near Bangkok.
Efficient plant performance was seen as the determining factor. GE’s 9HA gas turbine — recognized as the most efficient by the Guinness World Records — boasts a combined cycle efficiency of 62%, roughly 2-4 percentage points higher than standard models. Fuel costs reportedly fall 7 billion yen to 8 billion yen annually for each percentage-point increase in efficiency. The Thai plant is expected to save the operator over 10 billion yen in fuel costs yearly.
Thailand plans to secure power generation capacity of 57,460MW by 2036. Sumitomo and GE plan to win more contracts for high-efficiency gas turbines.
Sumitomo’s outstanding power plant orders are expected to reach 1.2 trillion yen in March. The trading house aims to win more contracts under Japan’s push to promote infrastructure exports.