EGAT told to find new sites for coal-fired power plant projects

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) has been ordered by the Energy Ministry to look for new locations for the construction of coal-fired power plants after the government put on hold two coal-fired power projects in Krabi and Thepha district of Songkhla for three years.

However, Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan maintained that coal still remains an important alternative fuel for Thailand and it is not necessary that coal-fired power plants must be located in southern provinces.

Under Thailand’s power development plan (PDP) between 2015-2036, the minister said the coal still remains a key alternative fuel but it must be utilized properly for power plants, adding that he had instructed EGAT to look for alternative site for the Thepha power plant project.

For the Krabi project, he noted that there is still adequate time to conduct EIA study, technical and tourism aspects.

The minister insisted the suspension of the two coal-fired power plant projects in Thepha and Krabi would not affect power situation in the southern region as EGAT will upgrade the transmission lines from the Khanom power plant to Chana district of Songkhla.

Regarding the bid for the offshore exploration and exploitation of the Bongkot and Erawan blocs, Mr Siri said he expected the bid to be opened in March.

Concession right will be split in two contracts and combined production is estimated at 1,500 million cubic feet per day.