Myanmar holds keys to Ratchaburi Electricity Holding

Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Plc (RATCH), Thailand’s largest private power producer, is poised to develop three power plants in Myanmar with a combined capacity of 3,300 megawatts.

President Phongdit Photchana said the three projects were still in the preparation stage and would take six or seven years to complete.

Electricity from all three projects will mainly serve local demand, with the excess to be sold to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand to secure power for the North and South.

Ratch is one of eight bidders from several countries.

The three projects include a 200-MW gas-fired plant in Mandalay.

Ratch has finished its feasibility study and will submit it to the Myanmar government this month.

The winning bidder will be announced in October. Myanmar will provide the natural gas feedstock.

The second project is a coal-fired plant in Myeik, southern Myanmar.

With a capacity of 2,500 MW, the project has the support of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation.

Ratch is preparing to conduct a feasibility study for the plant, whose output would provide power mostly to northern and northeastern Thailand.

“We are waiting to sign a memorandum of understanding with Myanmar’s Electricity and Power Ministry before working on the study and environmental impact assessment,” Mr Phongdit said.

Public consultation on the coal-fired plant finished two weeks ago.

The last project is a 600-MW lignite mine-mouth plant in Kengtung, for which a feasibility study has been completed and submitted.

The mine-mouth plant is anticipated as a joint venture in which Ratch would hold 45%, Thailand’s Blue Energy and Environment Co 20% and Myanmar’s government the rest.

If authorities approve the feasibility study, an environmental impact assessment will proceed.

Elsewhere, Ratch is spending 3.5 billion baht through 2016 to expand and finish seven ongoing projects.

All are expected to become operational at some point from 2015-18.

Once completed, Ratch’s combined power generation capacity will rise to 7,000 MW from 6,500 MW now.

Three domestic projects include a small power plant in Ratchaburi province with a capacity of 100 MW, to go on stream in 2018, and two waste-to-energy projects with a combined capacity of 15 MW to start up in 2017.

The other projects are international.

They are a 230-kilovolt transmission line in Cambodia spanning 125 kilometres to begin service in 2017 and solar farms in Ueda and Fukushima, Japan with a combined capacity of 30 MW in 2016.

All projects will serve Ratch’s goal of increasing power generation capacity to 9,700 MW by 2023.

RATCH shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 59.25 baht, down 75 satang, in trade worth 61.6 million baht.


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