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Greater Reliance On Natural Gas in Thailand's Latest Power Plan

ENERGY - Thailand
January 2019

Thailand’s government has reconfirmed its commitment to gas in its new Power Development Plan (PDP), which sets a target for gas to generate 53% of the country’s power in 2037. This is an increase from 30-40% in the previous PDP published in 2015, and indicates the country will become increasingly reliant on imported gas, as domestic production declines. Consequently, the Electricity Generating Authority Thailand (EGAT) has turned its back on coal-fired power plants in southern Thailand.

EGAT would instead focus more on power plants that burn natural gas, with Surat Thani named as the site for construction of two such facilities. Each of these would generate 700 megawatts of electricity into the national grid system, the first in 2027 and the second by 2029.

The just-released draft 2018 Power Development Plan (PDP) calls for the government to invite the private sector to invest in a 1,000-megawatt “independent power producer” (IPP) project that would start generating electricity in 2034.

Energy experts believe southern Thailand should have at least one major coal-fired power plant so that there is diversity among fuels used for generating electricity, which would favourably affect prices and help guarantee power security.

(Sources: Interfax; The Nation)