Suntech wins supply contract for 44MW solar plant in Thailand

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Suntech wins supply contract for 44MW solar plant in Thailand

China’s Suntech Power Holdings has clinched a deal to supply 34.5MW of solar panels into Thailand for the first phase of a 44MW solar power plant.

Bangchak Petroleum Public Company and Solartron Public Company, owners and operators of the solar project, selected Suntech to supply the panels.

The project, located just outside Thailand’s capital Bangkok, is scheduled to be fully completed in late-2011.

“Renewable energy technologies are an integral component of Bangchak’s long-term development strategy,” says Anusorn Sangnimnuan, chief executive officer of Banchak Petroleum.

Sangnimnuan adds that the company has intentions to forge further partnerships with Suntech to develop more utility-scale solar projects in Southeast Asia.

Thailand has an ambitious goal of using 20% of its energy consumption from renewable sources by 2022.

Solar projects in Thailand have attracted overwhelming interests until a stage where the government has to temporarily halt new proposals for solar project.

The country’s target to achieve 500MW capacity by 2022 was surpassed by about 500% from 2.97GW of committed and proposed projects.

Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) had in November 2009 projected that energy demand in Asia-Pacific will increase by about 2.4% a year for the next 20 years.

ADB also launched a solar initiative that will identify and develop large-scale capacity solar projects in Asia-Pacific that will generate some 3GW of solar power by 2012.

According to a Solarbuzz research, Asia’s solar market grew to nearly 900MW in 2009, up from about 630MW in 2008.

“Strong economic growth witnessed in markets like China and Thailand would not be possible without reliable access to electricity, says Shi Zhengrong, Suntech’s founder, chairman and chief executive officer.

“The reality is that fossil fuels alone are unable to provide long-term energy security to meet the soaring demands of Asia’s rising populations,” Shi says.

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