The Thai government has said that it will strengthen efforts to reduce the environmental and health impacts of a planned 800 MW coal-fired power plant.
The Thai National Energy Policy Council (NEPC) has given the Krabi power plant the go-ahead but has requested that national utility EGAT carry out further public consultations before construction starts.
EGAT says that the Krabi plant is required in order to boost generating capacity in the south of the country. However the project has been strongly opposed by locals from the Krabi region and environmentalists, who are concerned about the impact of the project on air and water quality and on the tourism industry.
The consultations will delay the Krabi power plant by another two years from 2022 to 2024. The government said that it would look at securing alternative back-up sources of power generation in case of energy shortages.
According to EGAT, the current generating capacity in Thailand’s southern provinces is 3089 MW, while peak demand is 2713 MW. Thailand’s Power Development Plan for 2015 proposed the construction of the Krabi plant by 2019 and a 2000 MW coal-fired plant at Thepa by 2021.