After years of failing to privatise itself, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) has come up with a new plan to mobilise cash by launching an infrastructure fund.
An injection of funds will help cut the country’s public debt, says Mr Soonchai. APICHART JINAKUL
New governor Soonchai Kumnoonsate said the second unit of the North Bangkok Power Plant (NBK), now under construction, will be the first asset to be sold to the public through the infrastructure fund.
Egat will name a financial adviser this month to work out details of the fund, which is expected to mobilise about 2 billion baht.
Mobilising funds from the public will help reduce the country's public debt, said Mr Soonchai, who took the helm at Egat this month.
Egat has allocated about 20 billion baht to develop NBK, with a generating capacity of 900 megawatts. The unit is scheduled to commence commercial operation next year.
The target of this fund is to cut down on public debt initiated by the government earlier this year. A power purchase agreement for the power plant will be the incentive luring investors to the infrastructure fund, as it may offer higher returns than deposit accounts.
"If this fund proves to be a success, Egat will issue other funds for separate power plants," said Mr Soonchai.
Egat plans five-year capital expenditures of 368 billion baht for fiscal years 2014 to 2018, with 248 billion going to the development or revamping of seven power plants. The remaining 120 billion will be used to upgrade the existing transmission network and install new lines nationwide.
"Our transmission lines are mostly over 25 years old. Now is the time to upgrade the network to strengthen our power security," he said.
In May the South of Thailand was affected by a five-hour blackout after aging transmission lines were hit by lightning.
New power plants and units being revamped include the second unit of Chana power plant in Songkhla, the fourth unit of Wang Noi power plant in Ayutthaya, the fourth to seventh units of Mae Moh power plant, and South Bangkok, Bang Pakong and Krabi power plants.
Last month the government approved Egat's budget of 68 billion baht to upgrade and develop new high-voltage transmission lines in southern Thailand from Bang Saphan to Surat Thani and Phuket.
About the author
- Writer: Yuthana Praiwan
Position: Business Reporter