According to a senior official working at the Energy Ministry, Thailand is planning to buy an additional 9,000 megawatts of electric power coming from Laos within this year to make sure that there will be enough supply to power the increasing demand.
That number is higher by 30 per cent compared to the previous electric power purchased by Thailand from Laos every year which is set at 7,000 megawatts. This is based to the latest memorandum of understanding or MoU that was signed by the two countries way back in 2007. The memorandum has already expired last 2015.
According to the same source, the senior officials are also taking steps in making the new MoU and the details within. The new memorandum of understanding is set to be signed by the two countries in the second half of 2016.
The source also added that if the two countries are able to finalize the details of the memorandum within the deadline then it could be signed at the same time as the Asean Summit meeting. The meeting venue is set in Laos this coming September.
The majority of the 9,000 MW power will be coming mostly from hydropower since it is cost-effective compared to fossil fuels. Thailand is now making ways in order to not depend on natural gas-generated power and rather use other sources of energy available.
As of writing, the main sources of gas used by Thailand are coming from the Gulf of Thailand as well as the Gulf of Martaban which is located in Myanmar. The two sources are unfortunately expected to be out of gas within the next 10 years because of the high independence of Thailand when it comes to natural gas.
The source revealed that Thailand is now trying to address the issue and has taken steps such as the importation of liquefied natural gas which is unfortunately more expensive.
As of the moment, the proposed coal-fired power plants that will be used in generating power remain a proposition. Though there are already plans to create two plants and will be located at the southern part of Thailand, the plan cannot go on because of the strong opposition that that government is facing coming from the local villagers of the region as well as the environmental activists. Meanwhile, Thailand has to make do with the additional power in order to support tourist destinations such as luxury villas in Hua Hin.