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The NAtion: Egat moves gas turbi


      Egat moves gas turbine
      unit to avert fine on PTT

      STATE-OWNED Electricity Generating
      Authority of Thailand (Egat) has decided to
      temporarily transfer a gas turbine unit from
      the Lan Krabue Power Plant to the delayed
      Ratchaburi Power Plant to help the
      Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) avoid
      being fined by the Burmese gas supplier,
      the Egat governor said. 

      Blaming the construction company, Egat
      governor Viravat Chlayon said the
      commissioning of the first gas turbine unit
      at the Ratchaburi power station will be
      postponed until September or October and
      it will not be ready to receive gas from July
      1 as scheduled. 

      Although Egat will not incur a fine from PTT
      since the gas sales contract has not yet
      been concluded between the two state
      agencies, Viravat said Egat will help
      prevent damage to the country and keep its
      promise to PTT by transferring a generator
      from the Lan Krabue plant for use until the
      completion of the Ratchaburi project. 

      Earlier, PTT indicated it will be subject to a
      fine of US$20 million plus $2.5 million in
      interest if the plant is delayed three months.
      PTT signed a take-or-pay contract with the
      consortium comprising France's Total SA,
      Unocal Corp and PTT Exploration and
      Production Plc that developed the Yadana
      offshore gas field in Burma. 

      The temporary relocation of the Lan Krabue
      gas turbine unit, which will cut the
      generating capacity of the Lan Krabue
      Power Plant to 115 megawatts from 140
      MW, has displeased Thai Shell Exploration
      and Production Co, which supplies gas to
      the Lan Krabue plant. However, the Egat
      governor said the relocation is necessary
      and it will not breach its contract with Thai

      Mitsui & Co won the contract to build the
      gas-fired combined-cycle section of the
      Ratchaburi Power Plant, which will include
      three 600 MW gas turbine generators. The
      Ratchaburi station will also house a 2,800
      MW thermal plant fired by fuel oil. 

      Previously, Egat planned to remove a gas
      turbine unit from the Sai Noi Power Plant
      but the relocation would have cost Bt200
      million compared to Bt10 million for the Lan
      Krabue turbine. The Lan Krabue turbine is
      older than the Sai Noi unit. 

      A recent public protest over the
      construction of the Yadana gas pipeline,
      which prompted Prime Minister Chuan
      Leekpai to order a 10-day suspension of
      the project, raised fears that the completion
      of the pipeline would be delayed but PTT
      said it will complete the Bt20 billion pipeline
      on time to receive the Burmese gas. 

      The gas contract represents the first
      cross-border gas sales agreement
      between Thailand and neighbouring


      The Nation