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Let’s build our next coal-power plant in Cambodia

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EDITORIAL

Let’s build our next coal-power plant in Cambodia

By The Nation

 

As with the hydroeletricity coming from Laos, our other neighbour can reap income from shipping energy to the Thai south 

 

Plans to build a major power plant in southern Thailand have been contentious from the start, but concerns have intensified over the past two decades.

 

The latest case in point is the uncertain future of the 2,000-megawatt Thepha coal-fired power plants planned for Songkhla province.

 

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) wants to build an 800-megawatt coal-fired plant in neighbouring Krabi province, but that project has been postponed indefinitely.

 

More recently, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has said the Thepha project would also be suspended, for another three years, due to strong local opposition (though the plan has many supporters in the province as well).

 

Overall, Egat’s power-development programme for the country’s southern region requires an additional capacity of 3,800 megawatts.

 

The aim is to generate this from the 800MW Krabi project by 2019 and 1,000MW each from Thepha 1 by 2021, Thepha 2 by 2024 and an as-yet-undesignated plant by 2034.

 

Electricity demand in Songkhla accounts for about 20 per cent of the region’s total, followed by Surat Thani at 17 per cent, Phuket at 16 per cent, Nakhon Si Thammarat at 12 per cent, and Trang and Krabi at 5 per cent apiece. 

 

Among the major power users are households, tourist attractions and large commercial establishments and factories. 

 

Tourism and commercial entities together account for as much as 36 per cent of the total power demand.

 

At present, the South has only two major power plants, in Chana and Kanom, with a combined capacity of about 2,000MW, while hydroelectric power, bio-mass and other renewable-energy sources contribute around 600MW.

 

Southern tourist destinations, especially Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi, account for one-fifth of the country’s GDP thanks to revenue from foreign visitors, so the industry has mounted powerful opposition to additional power plant projects in the region. 

 

Despite repeated reassurances in recent years of more efficient and cleaner technology being used in the latest-generation coal-fired plants, opponents are furious to see these projects go ahead in their own backyards.

 

The stalemate seems likely to continue for years to come, until the region faces a critical shortage of electricity. 

 

Such an outlook does not sit well with residents in general or tourism and other sectors.

 

Degradation of the environment and precious ecological-tourism assets has long been a powerful argument against the construction of more coal-fired plants, despite significant advancements in the technology used. 

 

Coal-fired plants are also a relatively cheap source of electricity compared to other fuels, such as liquid natural gas.

 

In a bid to end the deadlock, the government and both the supporters and opponents of coal-fired plants should consider another alternative. 

 

Thailand could negotiate to build such a plant in neighbouring Cambodia and for the electricity to be transmitted to the Thai South via lines that would only have to extend 1,000 kilometres.

 

It’s the same arrangement we have with Laos on multiple hydroelectric projects, in which Thailand has long been a major purchaser of the electricity produced. 

 

Proponents of such deals say they represent win-win solutions, appeasing both opponents and proponents of new projects in Thailand and creating a fresh source of revenue for our less prosperous neighbours.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/opinion/30338381

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-02-09

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Am I reading this correctly? The editor of the Nation wants a poorer neighboring country to build a polluting coal plant and then sell the energy to Thailand. This is bizar. 

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21 minutes ago, SoilSpoil said:

Am I reading this correctly? The editor of the Nation wants a poorer neighboring country to build a polluting coal plant and then sell the energy to Thailand. This is bizar. 

Yes bizzare. Much like our western countries dump arms, medical waste etc, create wars and destroy the lives of entire generations, for the prosperity of their own citizens. 

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1 hour ago, webfact said:

It’s the same arrangement we have with Laos on multiple hydroelectric projects, in which Thailand has long been a major purchaser of the electricity produced. 

 

Proponents of such deals say they represent win-win solutions, appeasing both opponents and proponents of new projects in Thailand and creating a fresh source of revenue for our less prosperous neighbours.

 

Do you not understand the difference between hydroelectric and coal-fired plants? One is clean, renewable energy and the other is a climate-change promoting mess.

 

This is one of the stupidest ideas I have seen in a long time...

 

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36 minutes ago, saakura said:

Yes bizzare. Much like our western countries dump arms, medical waste etc, create wars and destroy the lives of entire generations, for the prosperity of their own citizens. 

Well, if that’s what they’ve been doing in the West, Cambodia can have no reservations. Just have to explain to the Cambodians (and anyone else with concerns) how ‘whataboutism’ works. 

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 The SUN , is there every day!

no fees attached it is free,

 

 

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1 hour ago, saakura said:

Yes bizzare. Much like our western countries dump arms, medical waste etc, create wars and destroy the lives of entire generations, for the prosperity of their own citizens. 

 

True, but this is a journalist suggesting it in his or her newspaper. Imagine a Washington Post editor suggesting to dump our nuclear waste in the Sahara desert and then calling it a win-win situation. 

 

Even more bizarre is the fact that the same 'newspaper' publishes this article about coal plants being responsible for Bangkok's present air quality issues. 

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30338354

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Export of pollution? Wonderful idea. If the friendship ends they could pull the plug. Is solar power really so frightening?

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2 hours ago, SoilSpoil said:

Am I reading this correctly? The editor of the Nation wants a poorer neighboring country to build a polluting coal plant and then sell the energy to Thailand. This is bizar. 

No this is Thailand

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To far the cost of the transmission lines would be a big additional cost and maintenance headache.

just ask Australia, power plant cheap, coal plentiful cost of getting power to the customer is the problem.

Laos and Cambodia supply a lot of power to Thailand. Many gas fired plants were scheduled to be built. A dedicated pipeline was built across Burma to Thailand to deliver Natural Gas, the plants were never built but Thailand still pays for the gas it does not use under the contract with BP.

 

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Solar cells are still very inefficient to provide a economical option.

Power is CHEAP here in Thailand, as long as the cost is so low there is no intensive to invest in more costly and maintenance intensive technology. Pay back , yes we design and manufacture Solar systems, but they are a "protection" from power fluctuation and failures in 80% of the cases.

 

There is also a limit as to how big a system can be for your installation. 

There is no working plan to buy back excessive power you may generate.

ROI is very low, but as a protection or back up the systems work as designed.

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3 hours ago, SoilSpoil said:

Am I reading this correctly? The editor of the Nation wants a poorer neighboring country to build a polluting coal plant and then sell the energy to Thailand. This is bizar. 

Well what's your solution then bright spark? 

The south power plants can no longer sustain the amount of electricity needed. The area wants jobs and factories to improve their livelihoods. 

No electricity, no factories, no jobs. 

The area wants the electricity to be cheap, and they don't want to pay for more expensive power plant solutions. 

They want their cake and eat it. 

They get expensive electricity and a nice clean energy source. 

Cheap electricity from the coal powered plant with jobs. 

Cheap electricity with the coal powered plant in another country , no jobs. 

Nothing.

And protests in a few years because they don't have enough electricity. 

Come on sparky. 

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26 minutes ago, greenchair said:

Well what's your solution then bright spark? 

The south power plants can no longer sustain the amount of electricity needed. The area wants jobs and factories to improve their livelihoods. 

No electricity, no factories, no jobs. 

The area wants the electricity to be cheap, and they don't want to pay for more expensive power plant solutions. 

They want their cake and eat it. 

They get expensive electricity and a nice clean energy source. 

Cheap electricity from the coal powered plant with jobs. 

Cheap electricity with the coal powered plant in another country , no jobs. 

Nothing.

And protests in a few years because they don't have enough electricity. 

Come on sparky. 

 

Exploiting Cambodians and polluting their country is perfectly normal to you, if I understand your reaction. 

You didn't score very high of an empathy test, did you? 

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

Let’s build our next coal-power plant in Cambodia

 

And pray for prevailing westerly winds.

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