ADB Supports Solar Power Plants for Central Thailand

With three new solar power plants, more than 66,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emission will be avoided every year during the first 10 years of operations.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing $85 million for the construction of three solar power plants in central Thailand, under a public-private partnership program, that will generate 57 megawatts in contracted capacity.

“ADB is contributing to build a critical mass of successful large scale solar power projects in Thailand, which will give confidence to more investors and banks that solar power is a proven technology and a sound investment,” said Daniel Wiedmer, Senior Investment Specialist at ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department.

The solar power project, ADB’s fourth in Thailand, will have three main sites in Nakhonpathom and Suphanburi provinces, which will be developed under Thailand’s “very small power producer” program that buys renewable energy from power plants to provide clean energy to the grid.

With the new solar power plants, more than 66,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emission will be avoided every year during the first 10 years of operations.

A 1.65 billion baht loan (equivalent to around $52 million) has been approved for Solarco, a special-purpose company owned by Yanhee EGCO Holding Co., Ltd. which, in turn, is exclusively managed by the publicly listed Electricity Generating Public Co., Ltd.(EGCO), the country’s first independent power producer and currently the second large private power producer.

ADB will provide an additional $33 million loan to Solarco to be financed by the ADB Clean Technology Fund, which is part of the Climate Investment Fund implemented by multilateral development banks to support the rapid deployment of low-carbon technologies in the region.

EGCO plans to increase its installed renewable energy capacity to more than 300 megawatts by 2015, up from the current 9.9 megawatt of biomass and 64 megawatt of solar energy. The ADB funding helps provide the necessary long-term financing, which is one of the biggest barriers to its plan.