The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed an agreement to provide a local currency loan of up to B1,807 million (US$55 million) and a US$30 million loan from the ADB-administered Clean Technology Fund to develop the 81 MW Chaiyaphum wind power plant in Thailand.
Christopher Thieme, Director with ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department, stated:
“Wind energy provides a clean and sustainable source of electricity which will help diversify the country’s energy mix, strengthen energy security and reduce Thailand’s reliance on fossil fuels. The project will also help accelerate and expand private investment in clean energy infrastructure.”
The 81 MW power plant, to be situated in Chaiyaphum Province, about 300 km northeast of Bangkok, is being built and operated by Chaiyaphum Wind Farm Company, a special purpose firm 90% owned by Electricity Generating Public Company (EGCO) and 10% by Pro Ventum, an international wind power developer based in Germany. EGCO is Thailand’s first independent power producer and the second largest private power producer in the country.
The project is developed as a public-private partnership (PPP) under Thailand’s small power producer program, with Chaiyaphum Wind Farm Company entering into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the state-owned Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand to provide clean electricity to the national grid. The plant is scheduled to go into commercial operation around December 2016.
Thailand relies heavily on conventional fuels for electricity production, with 65% of its power generated from natural gas and 20% from coal and lignite. Fast growing demand and dwindling natural gas reserves in the Gulf of Thailand mean the country needs alternate fuel sources to save foreign exchange, protect the country from global price fluctuations, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The government is targeting the development of wind power capacity of 1,800 MW by 2021, but it will need significant investment support from the private sector to achieve this goal with only 223 MW installed to date.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region.