Thai company will build ground-breaking gas power plant

Gulf SRC, a Thai energy company, will build the world’s first natural-gas power plant that uses a new high-efficiency technology to reduce pollutants and emissions resulting in a lower carbon footprint and better air quality, according to the Asian Development Bank, which signed a financing deal with the company last week.

The gas power plant in Chonburi province is expected to be fully operational by 2022, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a press release last week. The Bank said the project will be a mid-merit plant – adjusting its power output depending on demand for electricity at any point in time during a day.

“The combined-cycle gas turbine technology to be used at the plant for the first time anywhere in the world has a maximum rated thermal efficiency greater than 63 percent,” the ADB said.

Improving energy efficiency is part of the Thai government’s push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lessen reliance on non-domestic energy sources, and increase the percentage of energy derived from renewable and alternative sources over the next two decades.

The new natural-gas power plant will be located in the Eastern Economic Corridor, the three-province zone where government and industry will showcase Thailand 4.0, the national strategy for advanced development, higher technology, and green industries.

The Bank and Gulf SRC have signed a $227.7 million loan agreement to help finance the construction and operation of the 2,500-megawatt plant, one of the largest in Thailand.  Other co-financers of the project include the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and ten other international and local commercial banks.

“Increased capacity for power generation is essential for rapidly growing countries like Thailand as energy demand will continue to rise,” said Christopher Thieme, ADB Deputy Director General for Private Sector Operations. “ADB’s financing of Gulf SRC will support the creation of a cleaner and more affordable source of energy generation in Thailand.”

“This project is important as it will help produce the growth and industrial transformation that is expected under the Government of Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) program,” said Sarath Ratanavadi, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Energy Development. “We appreciate ADB’s leadership in mobilizing the finance to make the project possible.”

Apart from contributing reliable, clean, and cost-effective energy to the country’s electricity grid, the project will help Thailand avoid 737,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, and provide employment to the local population, including women, the ADB said.

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