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1 August 2009

Thai power giant to invest $664m on renewable energy

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Thailand’s state-owned Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) has said it plans to spend $644 million to develop renewable energy facilities with a combined capacity of 258MW, reported on its website.

State-run Egat, which owns and manages Thailand's power transmission network and most of its electricity generation capacity, announced plans earlier this week to build mini-hydropower plants with a total capacity of 170MW, wind farms with a combined 65MW of generating power, 15MW of waste energy facilities, and 8MW of solar installations.

Egat said funding for the scheme will come from its own cash flow. It generated revenues of $73.5m in the nine months to June, according to government data.

Projects may also be eligible for funding under a deal signed earlier July by Thai officials, the World Bank and International Finance Corp. The financial institutions will provide $700m in low-interest loans for renewable power and energy efficiency projects under the agreement.

Thailand has a target of generating 20 percent of its electricity from renewable and alternative sources by 2022, more than triple the current six percent.

Nuclear power will also comprise part of the mix, with the country's first nuclear plant to be built by 2020. The government is conducting a $39.5m nuclear energy feasibility study, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.

Results have so far shown that nuclear would be the cleanest and most viable way to boost Thailand's energy security, Egat official Kamol Takabut told the Bangkok Post newspaper late July. Sites for a 2GW nuclear plant are being evaluated, he said.


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