Thai minister spurns nuclear, embraces coal power in facing demand challenge

By Diarmaid Williams, International Digital Editor, Power Engineering International

Thailand is targeting the development of more coal-fired power plants as it struggles to meet surging demand for electricity.

The country’s energy minister, Mr Pongsak Raktapongpaisarn, believes Thailand has too much of a dependency on natural gas-fired power and says coal power offers a ‘viable alternative.’

The immediate concern for the government has been heightened by the performance of routine maintenance on a gas platform in Myanmar in April. This will lead to a drop in gas supplies to Thailand of 1.1 billion cubic feet per day, potentially creating a nationwide energy supply shortfall.

The minister said that 70 per cent of Thailand’s electricity generation comes from gas power, which he says is unhealthy. However he added that renewables and nuclear power sources were too expensive.

"Few energy sources are cheaper than natural gas — nuclear, hydro or coal. The so-called soft, alternative fuels such as wind or solar energy have a high price tag of 10 baht per unit," Mr Pongsak said. "Relying on these sources will add to the public's power bills while eroding the competitiveness of the industrial sector."

He said the ministry is looking to build a coal-fired power plant in the resort province of Krabi but has run into opposition from locals.

"All agencies must speed up their attempts to make the public understand that coal-fired technology is a viable alternative to our current heavy reliance on natural gas," he said. "The technology has become better and cleaner. If people are made to understand this, they will accept coal-fuelled power plants more easily."

This article originally appeared on Power Engineering International. It was republished with permission.

Sponsored by FLSmidth

Related Articles

 Siemens to supply equipment to coal-fired power plant in Kazakhstan

Siemens to supply equipment to coal-fired power plant in Kazakhstan

Siemens (NYSE: SI) will supply two steam turbine units for the Balkhash coal-fired power plant, located in Kazakhstan, for operator Balkhash Thermal Power Plant Joint Stock Co.

 Capital Power has gas and wind projects due for operation this year

Capital Power has gas and wind projects due for operation this year

The in-construction gas-fired Shepard Energy Centre and the K2 Wind project are both expected to commence commercial operations in 2015 and to have a positive impact on earnings and funds from operations, said Capital Power Corp. (TSX:CPX) in a Feb. 23 earnings statement.

Follow Power Engineering on Twitter
Latest News

NRC proposes $17,500 penalty against Kewaunee nuclear power plant

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) proposed a $17,500 fine against Dominion Energy ...

Turkey-Japan nuclear power plant agreement approved

An international agreement to build a second nuclear power plant in Turkey was accepted by Pa...

Groups oppose call by New Mexico utility for higher rates

A proposal by New Mexico's largest electric provider to raise its rates is running into oppos...

NH Electric Co-op, Liberty customers to see rate decrease

PLYMOUTH, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire Electric Cooperative and Liberty Utilities say customers ...

DOE, US Army Corps extends MOU for Hydropower

The Departments of Interior, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engin...

Atlantic Power Corp. to sell wind energy portfolio for $350mn

Atlantic Power Corp. (NYSE: AT) signed an agreement to sell its wind generation portfolio to ...

General Compression, SustainX to merge as GCX Energy Storage

General Compression and SustainX, both fuel-free compressed air energy storage (CAES) technol...

Alliant subsidiary advances emissions projects at Iowa coal plants

Interstate Power and Light (IPL), which is a subsidiary of Alliant Energy (NYSE: LNT), told t...

Power Engineering Current Issue

02/01/2015
Volume 119, Issue 2
1502PE-cover
Products Showcase
Dynamic Fluoride Ion cleaning DFIC of industrial natural gas turbines Hi-Tech Furnace Systems

Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning of IGT Parts

The Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning (DFIC) Process from Hi-Tech Furnace Systems is able to clean deep, narrow cracks of oxides by cycling between negative, atmospheric, and positive pressure.

Archived Articles

2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015

Power Industry Wire News

Magnum Hunter Resources Declares Monthly Cash Dividend on Series C Preferred Stock, Series D Preferred Stock and Series E Preferred Stock

Magnum Hunter Resources Declares Monthly Cash Dividend on Series C Preferred Stock, Ser...

Totally Green Reports 2014 Full Year Results

Totally Green Reports 2014 Full Year Results

OKI Data Americas Introduces the MC873dn -- a New Smart, Compact, Wide Format A3 Color Multifunction Device for Small to Mid-Sized Workgroups

OKI Data Americas Introduces the MC873dn -- a New Smart, Compact, Wide Format A3 Color ...

Vega Biofuels Sets Date for Shareholder Conference Call

Vega Biofuels Sets Date for Shareholder Conference Call

Blue Earth Announces Sumter CHP Plant Energized on March 30, 2015

Blue Earth Announces Sumter CHP Plant Energized on March 30, 2015

Power Engineering

Article Archives for Power Engineering Magazine

Continuing Education

Professional Development Hours

To access a course listing associated to a specific topic listed below, click on the topic of choice from the list below.

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>