January 20, 2003
The construction of a hydro-power plant on the Salween River has won support from the Energy Ministry which plans to look for sources of funding for the project.
Energy Minister Pongthep Thepkanchana said the Finance Ministry would be asked to consider investing in the project. Negotiations with state agencies and the Burmese
government would be the next step.
Mr Pongthep said that this month he expected a final decision on whether the investment in the project would be made by the government through the Electricity Generating
Authority of Thailand alone, or by the authority and a private partner.
The 4,500-megawatt power plant is projected to cost as much as US$5 billion.
Three sites are under consideration. Egat is interested in building the plant on the upper Salween River while MDX Plc, a major construction group, has an agreement with Rangoon to develop the project in the lower reaches.
Mr Pongthep said that whichever location was chosen, the generation cost would be low and the project would promote the country as an Asean electricity hub. “Thailand has a
geological advantage. What we have to do now is erect more power lines.”
The project would also help establish an intra-Asean power transmission system.
At the same time, the authority would have to be privatised as scheduled by the end of next year, he said. However, the initial share offering and listing on the Stock Exchange of
Thailand depended mainly on investor sentiment.
Categories: Mekong Utility Watch