Egat likely to cut power purchases: Demand growth slowing with GDP

15 December 2008 – The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) is considering delaying several power purchases from private producers in Thailand and abroad in line with expected lower growth in electricity demand.

Pornchai Rujiprapha, the Energy Ministry’s permanent secretary, said a panel of executives from state utilities including Egat was revising the country’s power development plan (PDP) to reflect a poorer economic outlook next year and impact from the global slowdown.

The power purchases affected would be from neighbouring countries. Egat will also decide whether to open a new round of bidding for Independent Power Producers (IPP).

According to the 2007 five-year PDP, Egat will build its own power plants with a combined capacity of 9000 megawatts between 2011 and 2022. The projects include five gas-based power generators with capacity of 4200 MW, four coal-fired plants with 2800 MW, and two nuclear power plants of 2000 MW.

The third round of bidding for IPPs calls for deliveries totalling 3000 MW from 2015 to 2018.

Power purchases from Laos, for which agreements are not yet signed, are expected to add nearly 6000 MW starting from 2013 to 2015, Mr Pornchai said.

Purchases of another 14 800 MW have not been finalised with Burma, Cambodia and China, he added.

The PDP drawn up in 2007 was based on average economic growth of 4-5 per cent annually and power consumption growth of 5-6 per cent, he noted. “We have to study and consider our economic situation as we have seen a drop in power consumption since the middle of this year.”

The panel will revise the PDP forecast with three scenarios based on gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 1 per cent, 2 per cent and 3 per cent.