Ratch gets 1,400MW licence

Ratch gets 1,400MW licence

Gas-fired Ratchaburi plant to double generating capacity

The Energy Policy Administration Committee (Epac) has granted a licence for SET-listed Ratch Group Plc to develop and operate two units of a 1,400-megawatt gas-fired power plant in Ratchaburi province.

Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan said Epac acknowledged and approved the licence last week.

The location is the site of the existing power plant of Tri Energy Co, a Ratch subsidiary whose concession expires in July 2020. The current power generation is 700MW; Tri Energy thus will double capacity to 1,400MW.

Tri Energy was the first company to join the independent power producer (IPP) scheme of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). Winning bidders have to develop power plants and sell the output to the state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat).

The IPP scheme was launched to attract investors in 1995. The concession licences end in 2020.

Banpu Plc was the former owner of Tri Energy, which Ratch took over a few years ago.

"Ratch received the licence under the electricity quota of Egat, and Ratch offers a low power tariff to sell the output to Egat, so the ERC does not need to open a new auction of this power plant," Mr Siri said.

The quota is part of the latest power development plan (2018-37) for power generation in the western region.

The ERC plans to sign the power purchase contract with Ratch soon.

ERC chairman Samerjai Suksumek said construction and development of the 1,400MW gas-fired power plant will start in 2023-24.

Moreover, the power plant will feature the latest technology in power generators and infrastructure.

In related news, Mr Siri yesterday presided over a signing agreement for Global Power Synergy Plc (GPSC) and Thai Oil Plc (TOP).

GPSC is acquiring the Energy Recovery Unit (ERU) project from TOP for US$757 million (24.1 billion baht).

The ERU is part of TOP's Clean Fuel Project (CFP) worth $4.83 billion in Sri Racha district, Chon Buri province. Spanning 36 rai, the CFP aims to use residue and waste from refined oil to generate 250MW of power and 175 tonnes of steam per hour.

GPSC's acquisition is expected to ease TOP's financial burden so the latter can focus on development of the CFP.

GPSC plans to complete the ownership transfer in the ERU by 2023 and pay the first tranche of $138 million during 2019-22. The remainder will be borrowed from financial institutions for payment in 2023.

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