Thailand’s first wind farm (90 MW)

Germany’s Pro Ventrum International on Tuesday announced plans to build a 90-megawatt wind farm in north-eastern Thailand with US-based GE Energy as a partner.

The firms signed an agreement for GE to supply wind turbines for the proposed Thepsathit Wind Farm, which will require an estimated investment of 5.8 billion baht (178.5 million dollars).

"When operational, the 90 megawatt wind farm powered by 36 units of GE’s 2.5-megawatt wind turbines could potentially be one of the first of its scale for Thailand and the greater wind power plant in ASEAN region," GE Energy’s Thailand director Kovit Kantapasara said.

The wind farm will be situated in Chaiyaphum province, about 250 kilometres from Bangkok. The wind power would be sold to the state-owned Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand.

GE and Pro Ventrum, which has been in Germany’s wind energy development sector for the past 19 years, would hold 50 per cent equity in the venture and seek Thai partners to invest in the remainder, Pro Ventrum chief executive Reiner Zoller said.

"We hope to start construction in the second quarter of 2011," he said. The joint venture would seek financing from Thai banks and the Asian Development Bank, he said.

"This will be Pro Ventrum’s first project in the Asian region," Zoller said. Thailand has been at the forefront of promoting alternative energy in Asia. The government hopes to use renewable energy sources for 20 per cent of it power generation by the year 2020.

"Thailand’s multi-year incentives have made wind energy development a competitive proposition for potential investors," Kovit said.

The government has encouraged private investments in wind and solar energy by offering to buy their electricity at prices above market rates.

Source: DPA