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EGAT to further digitalise operations

Thailand’s state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) plans to adopt technology to increase operation and maintenance efficiency at 32 power plants nationwide.

The Deputy Governor for Generation stated that tech adoption is meant to transition Egat’s power generation to the digital age over the next decade.

EGAT set up a working committee to handle this transformation for fossil-based and renewable projects. The digitisation will help EGAT’s power generation achieve higher efficiency, consume less fuel, reduce the shutdown period for maintenance and increase the heat-rate and reliability.

The Deputy Governor stated that EGAT plans four phases of its digital transformation, working with each power plant in the country in its future direction.

The agency has set a direction that should guarantee a good return and shorten the payback period. The aim is to have the efficiency of power plants rise by at least 1% and the heat-rate of power generators to increase 1-2% by 2023.

Two EGAT power plants – one in North Bangkok in Nonthaburi and one Mae Mo in Lampang – will begin the digitisation plan over the next few years.

The North Bangkok plant recently adopted preliminary technology for its maintenance system, and EGAT staff conducted R&D activity previously.

In related news, EGAT signed agreements with two Japanese bodies for a demonstration project on power generation improvement using digital technologies.

Units 11 and 13 of the coal-fired powerplant in Mae Mo are set for the demonstration project in 2021-23. The two units generate 300 megawatts each.

The Deputy Governor stated that EGATis interested in using Japanese technology to support operations at Mae Mo with a request for funding from the Japanese government.

One of the Japanese firms will provide digital technology, both hardware and software, for operations and maintenance at the Mae Mo site.

The demonstration will upgrade the power generation process, reduce the operating cost, enhance competitiveness and sustainability in the country’s energy development and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The operation and maintenance data will connect through the IoT system, AI analysis for heat rate improvement and the fault-detection monitoring system.

EGAT expects to improve the efficiency of power generation at Mae Mo by an average of 0.45% by 2023.

Pushing renewable energy

According to an earlier report by OpenGov Asia, Thai-Chinese consortium has signed an EPC contract to build the world’s largest hydro-floating solar hybrid project for the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT).

The consortium was the selected bidder with a deal worth over THB842 million. It will construct and install a 45-MW solar power plant on water surface combining with the existing hydropower of EGAT.

Implementing this project is an important eco-friendly energy scheme that will encourage and strengthen Thailand’s security of power supply.

It was noted that the project creates synergy between solar and hydropower, representing an important step in the development of green energy in Thailand and resolve an uncertain electricity supply from renewable energy.

This project’s development is consistent with the government’s policy to support electricity production from renewable energy and reduce dependence on fossil fuels for electricity generation according to the current Power Development Plan of Thailand (PDP2018).

The solar panels selected for the project are crystalline double glass module which is suitable for being installed on the surface of the water. The solar panels, inverters and cables will be installed on the HDPE plastic floating platform, with UV resistance ability.

It is eco-friendly, not dangerous to the environment and aquatic animals. The project will be installed on a surface area of 450 rai with a low-cost of investment by sharing facilities with the existing transmission system, transformers, and high-voltage substations etc.

The project is expected to be completed within 12 months and the commercial operation date (COD) was set in December 2020.

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