GE and Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, the main electricity producer in the country, announced on 8 September the start of commercial operation of EGAT’s Bang Pakong power plant Blocks 1 and 2. Bang Pakong is located in Chachoengsao Province, approximately 60 km south of Bangkok. Built in 1977, the original complex consisted of five blocks firing natural gas and diesel oil. The two new gas-fired combined cycle blocks, powered by GE HA class turbines, have replaced retired units and have been incorporated in the power plant with the objective of improving its overall efficiency and reducing its carbon footprint.
“This project is in response to the government’s commitment to the retirement of less efficient and older plants, to be replaced with new gas-powered … [more] efficient combined-cycle capacity as a solution to reduce emissions and increase the reliability and flexibility of Thailand’s power system,” commented Prasertsak Cherngchawano, EGAT deputy governor of Power Plant Development and Renewable Energy.
The new blocks add approximately 1400 MWe, and are powered by two GE 9HA.02 gas turbines, the company’s most efficient 50 Hz model, and the first deployment of this machine in Thailand, coupled with two STF-A650 steam turbines and two W86 generators. GE has also signed a long-term services agreement with EGAT to provide parts, repairs and maintenance services for these sites.
Thailand’s electricity generating capacity amounts to approximately 51 GW, as of April 2022. Gas firing has been following an upward trend since 2016 (5.1 GW added) and currently represents the largest share with 51% of total capacity.