Published on 19/11/2013
Egat unit, VN govt set for MoU signing Second investment following first project in Laos Egat International (EGATi), a subsidiary of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, will sign a memorandum of understanding with the Vietnamese government next month on the development of a coal-fired power plant in Quang Tri province. It is the company's second investment project, following the Nam Ngiep 1 hydropower plant in Laos. EGATi's acting president Thana Putarungsi said the Quang Tri plant would have capacity of 1,200 megawatts and cost US$2.3 billion (more than Bt72 billion). It is scheduled to supply power in 2018 to serve rising electricity demand in Vietnam. That country's government has already given its approval to EGATi to develop the project. The plant's capacity can be expanded to a maximum of 3,600MW. There is an opportunity for the plant to sell electricity to Thailand via the planned Asean Power Grid. EGATi aims to become a leading unit of Egat in terms of investment in electricity-generation and related businesses. It focuses on both upstream and downstream power businesses and value-added business such as the operation and maintenance of telecom services. It is also looking for an opportunity to supply coal to Egat, which plans to build four coal-fired plants with total capacity of 3,200MW. These projects will require the import of 10 million tonnes of coal per year for the next 30 years. Egat recently hired Boston Consulting Group as an adviser to study ways to solve the regulatory constraints on EGATi's efforts to make overseas investments for the state agency. Earlier some Egat executives proposed that EGATi be dissolved because of its lack of investment flexibility. However, the Egat board takes the view that it is appropriate to use EGATi to invest in overseas markets, especially in
government-to-government projects. EGATi will take a lead role in negotiating to clinch such projects, and then other Egat subsidiaries will step in to hold shares in them.