Thailand has an area of 513,115km2 and a population of 62.3M. The annual average precipitation is 1560mm, and the total mean annual precipitation volume is 800km3, of which 199km3 is runoff.

There are 13 large dams (>15m) in operation. The total water storage of all the country’s reservoirs is 62.3km3.

Per capita domestic water consumption is 200-400 litres/day in urban areas and 150-200 litres/day in rural areas.

The Kud Ta Phet reservoir project, which is under construction in Lop Buri province, will supply 600 x 103m3 of water per year for domestic consumption as well as irrigation water for an area of 7760ha in the wet season and 1680ha in the dry season. The project is scheduled for completion in 2005.

The 93m high Khlong Tha Dan RCC dam is being built for irrigation on the Nakon Nayok river. It will be the world’s largest volume RCC dam, at 5 x 106m3. The US$143M scheme is scheduled for completion in 2004.

Construction of the 24m high Prasae zoned earthfill dam and 6m high saddle dam in Rayong province are scheduled for completion in 2004. They will provide irrigation water for the Wang Chan and Klaeng districts.

A dam is also under construction for the Lam Ta Khong pumped storage project.

In Thailand, there are a number of agencies responsible for water resources and services such as the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA), the Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA), the Department of Royal Irrigation and the Department of Water Resources.

The MWA is responsible for water supply services in Bangkok Metropolitan and the PWA in the rest of the urban areas in Thailand. Parts of these services have been privatised by the Government in recent years. For example, the PWA has already privatised several of its water supply schemes in the form of BOT, BOOT and lease contracts, and hopes to continue increasing private sector participation in this way.

MWA established the Office of Water Resources Development Project in 1993. The privatisation plan for MWA is now under the World Bank’s grant.

Energy and power sectors

The total energy consumption in 2001 was 50 Mtoe. Sources of total energy consumption were: petroleum products (66.4%), renewable energy (17%), coal and its products (10.7%), electricity (19.1%) and natural gas (3.8%).

The gross energy generation in 2001 amounted to 102,420GWh, an increase of 6.7% over the previous year. Of this total, 61,497GWh (60%) was produced by publicly owned and the remaining 40,923GWh (40%) was the energy purchased from private power plants.

The main sources of electricity production in 2001 were approximately: natural gas 62% (63,537GWh), coal and lignite 17.3% (17,722GWh), hydro power 6.2% (6303GWh), fuel oil 2.6% (2626GWh), geothermal, solar cell and wind power 2GWh, and the remaining 11.7% (11,977GWh) from cogeneration plants.

During 2001, 2881GWh of electricity was imported from Laos and Malaysia, while 267GWh was exported to Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Malaysia.

Total electricity consumption in 2001 was 92,290GWh. Per capita consumption is about 1481kWh/yr. Peak demand on the main grid during 2001 was about 16GW.

Most new capacity will be combined cycle plants, but a significant contribution will from from IPPs. Also, new pumped-storage projects will be built.

The Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE) is in charge of energy, while the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) is the national power authority. There are also power authorities for metropolitan and provincial areas: the Metropolitan Electricity Authority and Provincial Electricity Authority, respectively, EGAT owns and operates all power plants for the Government. All hydro plants are publicly owned, and about 34.5% of all power plant capacity is privately owned.

Hydro power development

The technically feasible hydro power potential of Thailand is 18,885GWh/yr, and the economically feasible potential is about 18,033GWh/yr. The total installed capacity of all power plants is 22,888MW, of which 2936MW is hydro capacity. There are 12 hydro plants with a capacity greater than 10MW. The generation of all hydro plants in 2001 was 6303GWh.

A 95m high RCC dam for irrigation, Tha Dan, is now going ahead on the Nakon Nayok river. It will be the world’s largest volume RCC dam, at 5.4 x 106m3, of which 4.9 x 106m3 is the RCC volume.

Thailand has 531MW of pumped storage capacity in operation and a further 500MW under construction (the Lam Ta Khlong projects) and 660MW planned.

Future outlook

As a result of environmental concerns, it is difficult at present to develop conventional hydro projects in Thailand. Projects in the country’s power development plan are therefore mainly thermal and pumped storage plants.


Table 1