February 26, 2014 00:00 By Watcharapong Thongrung
The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) has redefined the role of its three business units, to solidify the overseas investment attempt.
Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding, 45 per cent owned by Egat, is tasked to invest in a power plant near the Salween River. Known in Myanmar as Thanlwin, the Salween river stretches over 2,800 kilometres from its source to the Andaman Sea. The governments of Myanmar and Thailand are pushing for seven dams along the river, which is causing dissent among local residents.
According International Rivers, an environment advocate, aside from Egat, other participants in the development of the hydropower plants along the river are the Ministry of Electric Power, Sinohydro Corporation, Russia's Power Machines, Zhejiang Fuchunjiang Hydropower Equipment, Tasang Hydropower, Hanergy Holdings Group and Gold Water Resources.
Electricity Generating (Egco), 25.41 per cent owned by the power agency, will invest in a coal-fired power plant in Dawei industrial zone.
It was reported last November that Egco would join hand with Mitsubishi Corp for the investment. It is estimated that the proposed 1,800 megawatt-power plant would cost US$3.2 billion.
Egat governor Soonchai Kumnoonsate said on Tuesday that the investment plans would be submitted for the Myanmar government’s consideration soon.
Meanwhile, Egat International, a wholly-owned subsidiary, will focus on investment in the Asean power grid to link China and Laos including other sections under the regional scheme. It will also focus on power projects initiated under the government-to-government framework. In this regard, Egat International has won the licenses to develop the Nam Ngiep hydropower plant in Laos and a US$2.3 billion coal-fired power plant in Vietnam.
"Egat Group and business units will coordinate on overseas investment for unity," Soonchai said. "In this regard, Egat International will play a key role in negotiating for new investment projects, and these won projects would be allocated to Ratch and Egco."
Egat International's projects under development have combined capacity of 3,883 megawatts. Egco's overseas investment covers the capacity of 1,392MW, of which 873MW has been commercially operated. Ratch's overseas capacity totals 1,519MW, including 663.2MW which are commercially operated.