Thailand’s Gas-fired plants expand

Construction News

Egat to spend B66bn on additional capacity

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) is spending 66 billion baht to build three 800-megawatt gas-fired power plants to increase its generating capacity.

Deputy governor Somboon Arayaskul said the state utility would build the plants on the premises of its existing power plants at Chana in Songkhla province, Wang Noi in Ayutthaya, and North Bangkok in Nonthaburi province.

The new plants in Chana and Wang Noi are already under construction [anybody know who are the contractors? ED] and will be completed in the first quarter of 2014, while the one in North Bangkok is awaiting an environmental and health impact assessment report with construction to start next year and operations to begin in 2015.

In light of health concerns and protests, the Energy Ministry has put off the plans for nine coal-fired power plants to 2019 from 2014 planned earlier. It also postponed plans for five nuclear power plants by three years to 2023 at the earliest in the wake of the recent nuclear accidents in Japan.

The country’s current 20-year power development plan calls for five nuclear plants with a combined generating capacity of 5,000 MW out of the 30,000-MW total estimated to meet the demand in 2030.

The first two plants were scheduled to start operating in 2020 and 2021, but the recent events in Japan and concerns about a general lack of preparedness have prompted authorities to rethink nuclear development.

“In the future, if the public still rejects nuclear power, we possibly have only coal and gas as alternatives,” said Mr Somboon.

However, he noted that new coal-fired power-plant technology had been proven to be as clean as the gas-fired option and he urged the public to also rethink its concern about pollution.

“But if the public still rejects coal [power plants], the only choice is the much more expensive liquefied natural gas,” said Mr Somboon.

He said the state utility still fully supported the development of renewable energy and energy-saving initiatives in order to improve the efficiency of energy consumption.


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