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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                             6  September 2011

Thais hope to power Vietnam

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A Thai state-owned group is seeking investment opportunities to plug gaps in three major power projects in Vietnam.

In talks with Minister of Industry and Trade (MoIT) Vu Huy Hoang last week, EGAT International Company governor Sutat Patmasiriwat said the firm was interested in building the 1,200 megawatt coal-fired Nghi Son thermopower plant 2 at Nghi Son power centre in northern Thanh Hoa province's Nghi Son Economic Zone, a 750MW combined gas-fired power plant in southern Can Tho city's O Mon district and a coal-fired thermopower plant in central Quang Tri province.

"The government of Thailand is boosting energy investment into neighbouring countries including Vietnam. It has also financed EGAT for its power projects abroad. So, EGAT's financial health is quite good," Patmasiriwat said.

Hoang said the Vietnamese government would create all favourable conditions for EGAT, a subsidiary of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, to join these three projects.

They would be built under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model, because this firm was greatly experienced in constructing and operating power plants.

He said Nghi Son 2 had yet to have an investor, while the remaining projects were under preparation for bidding. The MoIT would help EGAT to visit project sites.

At present, EGAT's total power capacity at its plants in and outside of Thailand is 15,000MW, equal to 50 per cent of Vietnam's existing supply. Vietnam needs $49 billion to invest into the power industry from now to 2020 and $75 billion in between 2021-2030, while the country's investment capital remained humble, the MoIT reported.

In a similar development, EGAT also wants to build a 1,200MW coal-fired thermopower plant in central Binh Dinh province. However, this plan may turn to dust.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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