Thai energy minister adamant for more coal-fired power plants

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BANGKOK, Oct 28 – Thailand’s energy minister is determined to build more coal-fired power plants to increase their proportion of the country’s electricity generation to 30 per cent of all fuel-fired generation.

Energy Minister Narongchai Akrasanee said Thailand needed more coal-fired power plants to meet its continuously growing electricity demand. Consequently the government intends to increase the proportion of coal-fired generation to 30 per cent to cut the proportion of gas-fired generation to 70 per cent.

He said that there would be an 800-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Krabi and coal-fired generation in Songkhla as well. Both Krabi and Songkhla are southern provinces.

Mr Narongchai said that electricity supply in the South was insecure and the region also depended on auxiliary power supply from Malaysia.

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) is persuading opponents of coal-fired power plants to support the plans.

Mr Narongchai said the Energy Ministry would also buy electricity from the 1,400-megawatt Hongsa power plant in the Lao PDR.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha sealed a deal to buy power from Myeik of Myanmar and will discuss a project to buy electricity from Cambodia.

Thailand has already built power transmission cables to Cambodia.

The Thai government plans to build a coal-fired power plant in the neighboring country and buy its excess power for use in Thailand.

Mr Narongchai promised that the government would apply internationally recognized clean coal-fired power plant technology.