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More Clean Coal for Thailand

Re-emphasizing that natural gas extracted from the Gulf of Thailand would dry up in the next 6-7 years, Ratanachai Namwong, deputy governor of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) Power Plant Development, said there is a need for Thailand to build new electricity plants powered by clean coal.

Mr Ratanachai said while leading journalists to inspect coal and solar energy-powered electrical power plants in Germany, that both countries see energy security and the environment as critical issues.

Germany announced it will end operations of all nuclear-powered electricity plants in 2022, replacing them with coal-fired plants along with alternative energy-powered electricity plants, he said.

Currently, electricity charges in Germany stand at Bt13 per unit–considered most expensive in the world–while in Thailand it costs about four baht per unit, said Mr Ratanachai.

Natural gas in the Gulf is expected to be exhausted in the next 6-7 years while the demand for electricity rises more than 700 megawatts a year in Thailand, Mr Ratanachai said. It is necessary to think now what power must be used for electricity production before the crisis starts.

EGAT believes that clean coal is the “best alternative because of its low cost and long-term reserves”, Mr Ratanachai said.

He said a plan has been made for the country to have new coal-powered electricity plants to produce a minimum 4,000 MW while the public must understand that new, innovative technology can protect the environment better than before.

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