Thailand’s PTT and the state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) are reportedly planning to jointly study a liquefied natural gas project utilising a floating storage and regasification unit that would supply volumes to a new power plant.

The mooted FSRU would have capacity of 5 million tonnes per annum, the same size as the vessel for which US contractor Fluor had earlier performed the front-end engineering and design work for EGAT’s previous proposed LNG import project.

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EGAT and PTT — the former Petroleum Authority of Thailand — now have their sights on a different scheme, with the FSRU expected to mainly deliver feedstock gas to a new EGAT-operated power plant in Surat Thani's Phunphin district, reported the Bangkok Post, quoting an energy official who requested anonymity.

Construction of this 1400-megawatt power plant would begin after EGAT receives governmental approval of its environmental impact assessment report, which it is currently preparing.

Commercial operation of the power plant could start as early as 2027 with the aim of supply electricity to provinces in Thailand’s south

The facility is expected to become operational between 2027 and 2029 and supply electricity to southern provinces where power demand is on the rise but fossil fuel supply for existing power plants is limited.

LNG supply chain

PTT and EGAT last year signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on joint initiatives in the LNG supply chain.

EGAT for several years had progressed a planned FSRU-based LNG import scheme that would have seen the vessel installed some 20 kilometres offshore in the upper Gulf of Thailand with regasified volumes being used as feedstock at its 2100MW South Bangkok power plant in Samut Prakan.

Fluor carried out the FEED study for this 5 million tpa project and an international tender for the FSRU had been expected to be launched in the third quarter last year. However, Thailand’s National Energy Policy Council ultimately called a halt to this project despite supporting the feasibility study.

Hybrid renewables project

Meanwhile, in the north-east of the country, EGAT is developing more renewable energy power plants, including the 45MW hydro-floating solar hybrid project at Sirindhorn dam that is scheduled to start commercial operations at end of next month.

“In response to the government policy, EGAT pushes ahead the development of renewable energy power plants coupled with main power plants to ensure the smooth transformation towards renewable energy in the future and maintain the power system security of country,” said Prasertsak Cherngchawano, EGAT deputy governor — power plant development and renewable energy.

EGAT could not be reached for immediate comment.