EGAT seeks easing of rules on foreign ventures
Egat International plans to ask the energy minister to relax certain rules limiting state enterprises investing overseas to facilitate power projects in neighbouring countries.Foreign joint ventures proposed by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand have to be approved by the Office of the Attorney-General, which takes three to four months, the Council of State, two months, and finally the Cabinet, but foreign partners may not be able to spare up to six months of idle time.
The lengthy process and strict regulations have resulted in only one foreign joint venture, the Nam Ngiep 1 hydropower project in Laos, in which Egat International has only a 30-per-cent stake.
Without changes or exemptions to the regulations, Egat International will not be able to play a vital role in helping Thailand secure stable electricity supply for the long term, acting president Somboon Arayasakul said yesterday.
The energy minister is aware of the problems and obstacles faced by the company, he said. There are other projects that the state wants Egat to participate in, especially in Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.