Published on Friday, 18 January 2013 08:04
The Nation January 18, 2013 1:00 am
Energy-supply project for Dawei industrial estate under study; push for CHS technology
The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand has earmarked Bt50 billion this year to renovate its 30-year-old electricity grid and construct a power plant.
The authority is also studying setting up a power plant in Dawei, Myanmar, to supply electricity in the industrial estate, Egat governor Sutud Patamasiriwat told a press conference yesterday.
More than half of the capital-expenditure budget will come from the company's cash flow and the rest from bank loans, he said.
This is part of its five-year plan to invest Bt300 billion - Bt200 billion to build its grid and Bt100 billion to build a power plant.
"Our debt-to-equity ratio is now only 0.5 time. There is enough room to increase our total debt, so when we borrow from the bank it will not hurt our financial health," he said.
Egat is ready to expand overseas, following the government's policy to encourage state enterprises with healthy finances to seek opportunities abroad.
It is interested in investing in a power plant and hydropower dam in Myanmar and is looking at other neighbouring countries. This will ensure that Thailand will have sustainable electricity to serve growing demand.
The government has a policy to increase the Kingdom's electricity supply by buying it from neighbouring countries. The last memorandum of understanding was for 1.5 gigawatts of hydropower electricity from Myanmar.
"We also are negotiating to increase the contract to 10GW next time," he said.
Egat has continued to promote energy savings through air-conditioning systems using CHS (clathrate hydrate slurry) technology. This system can reduce an office's electricity consumption by about 30 per cent.
If 35 per cent of offices in Thailand used this system, it would help the country save at least 800 megawatts, Sutud said.
"We will test this system to make sure it is stable. We will suggest that private firms or office buildings use this system. It would help them cut electricity costs in the long term."
Egat continues to study the plan to build a power plant in Dawei. The first idea is to build a plant fuelled by natural gas with the capacity to produce not more than 1GW. This system would take a short time to construct and could provide electricity to all plants in the industrial estate.
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