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EGAT making huge investment on transmission upheaval in Thailand

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) announced capital spending of 300 billion baht over the next five years, mainly to upgrade power facilities nationwide.

Two-thirds of the total will go to upgrading 40-year-old transmission lines, with the remaining 100 billion slated for new capacity such as the Wang Noi and Chana power plants, said governor Sutat Patmasiriwat.

The budget excludes foreign investment, especially for power plants in Laos and Myanmar, from which Egat plans to import a combined 20,000 megawatts of electricity over the next 20 years.

Egat can seek financing for the massive spending because its debt-to-equity ratio is less than 0.5, said Mr Sutat.

He said Egat can subsidise electricity prices until the end of this year in line with the Energy Regulatory Commission’s policy of capping power prices and fuel tariffs at 52 satang per kilowatt-hour.

“Energy prices this year are unlikely to fluctuate like last year, as the economies of Europe and the US are expected to remain weak,” said Mr Sutat.

Egat yesterday launched a pilot project for energy-saving air-conditioning systems using clathrate hydrate slurry (CHS) at its headquarters in Nonthaburi.

The system will balance peak and off-peak periods of demand and could cut energy use by 25%.

The project was co-developed by JFE Engineering Corporation and Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (Nedo) along with Thailand’s Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency Department.

Nedo sponsored the project with financing of 93.6 million baht, while Egat kicked in 13 million baht. Iwao Hanzawa, JFE’s senior managing director, said the company expects to be welcomed by building owners worldwide due to growing awareness of energy savings.

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