September 4, 2019 / 10:27 AM / a month ago

Thailand seeks to become Southeast Asia energy trading hub

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand’s main stock exchange on Wednesday signed an agreement to develop an energy trading platform with state-owned Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), part of a plan to become Southeast Asia’s electricity trading hub.

The deal came as energy ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) met this week in Bangkok. ASEAN has long sought to develop a regional power grid to support member states where demand can quickly outstrip supply.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand and EGAT will study ways to develop “a wholesale electricity market” for ASEAN members, a joint statement said.

Thailand, Laos and Malaysia already have committed to making about 300 megawatts of power capacity available for trading, part of a power integration project, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, said in a separate statement on Wednesday.

The proposed Thai platform would allow the trading of power for up to three to five years ahead, as well as daily energy trading, EGAT Deputy Governor, Bhawana Aungkananuwat, said.

Thailand uses an enhanced single-buyer model where EGAT is the nation’s main electricity supplier and buyer.

It has a total contracted capacity of about 43-gigawatts (GW), with 15.8 GW coming from EGAT’s power plants, 23.7 GW from private power producers and 3.8 GW from abroad, according to its 2018 annual report.

Reporting and writing by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Kay Johnson and Tom Hogue

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