Offer to change fuel source could save Myanmar power plant project

Italian-Thai Development Pcl, Thailand’s biggest construction company, may change the fuel supply for a power plant in a planned $8.6bn industrial zone in Myanmar after the government scrapped plans to use coal.

The company has yet to receive a formal notice from Myanmar, after media reports this week said the government rejected plans for a 4,000 MW coal-fired power plant, said Somchet Thinaphong, managing director of the Dawei Development Co., an Italian-Thai unit. The company’s November agreement with Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Pcl to build the plant remains unaffected, he said.

The government’s decision “only means we have to renegotiate the source of fuel,” Somchet said in an interview in Bangkok yesterday. “With Ratchaburi, the intention was to use coal. If we change the source of supply, Ratchaburi has to sit down and recalculate.”

Myanmar’s 11-month-old government, whose democratic reforms have prompted the U.S. and Europe to reassess sanctions, has canceled two power-plant projects in the past six months because of environmental concerns.

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