Energy Ministry to proceed with Krabi coal-fired power plant

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BANGKOK, Sept 29 — Thailand’s Ministry of Energy has asserted it will push for a clean coal-fired power plant in the southern province of Krabi.

Energy Ministry Permanent Secretary Areepong Bhoocha-oom said that electricity generation in the South cannot now serve the growing demand, especially from tourism and the service sector that is increasing by as much as 10 per cent annually.

Overall electricity generation in the South stands at about 2,400 megawatts while local users demand 2,600 megawatts.

As much as 16 per cent of power demands in the South depend on electricity transmitted from the Central Plain. Therefore, there must be new power plants together with campaigns for efficient energy consumption and the development of renewable energy, Mr Areepong said.

“New power plants that will be main sources of power need imported coal because there is not enough natural gas. Clean coal technology is internationally recognized for pollution prevention and a recent meeting of ASEAN energy ministers resulted in the agreement of all countries to develop more power plants to be fired with clean coal,” Mr Areepong said.

The permanent secretary for energy said the project to build the 800-megawatt power plant in Krabi would apply clean coal technology that was pollution-free.

It will be built in the vicinity of an old coal-fired power plant. The project is undergoing its environmental health impact assessment (EHIA).

There will be three rounds of EHIA and then the project will be proposed to the National Environment Board for approval. Under Thailand’s Power Development Plan, the Krabi plant will be completed and start to supply electricity in 2019.

On Friday representatives of non-governmental organizations and Krabi residents asked the Administrative Court to scrap a project to build the Ban Khlong Rua port designed to receive coal for the Krabi plant.

The complainants said the area designated for the port construction was a swamp protected by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand conducted its third public hearing on the Ban Khlong Rua port project on Sunday. EGAT presented the EHIA of the port project and tried to convince local residents that it would be properly built, meet local demand and be environmentally friendly.