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     Thailand lends support to assist Japan in restoring their power supply following the serious damage at Fukushima nuclear power plant which was hit by the recent earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. Two gas turbine generating facilities of 244 megawatt power capacity from EGAT’s Nong Chok power plant will be rapidly removed and transported to Japan to provide power supply to help cope with the high electricity demand in Tokyo and nearby areas in the upcoming summer months.

     Today at EGAT Headquarters, the Ministry of Energy, the Embassy of Japan and Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) hold a joint press conference on “Lending Thai Power Plant Support to Assist Japan in Time of Need” in response to the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The event is presided by the Minister of Energy Dr. Wannarat Channukul, Japanese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Seiji Kojima, and EGAT Governor Sutat Patmasiriwat. The event is also witnessed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Theerakun Niyom and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy Dr. Norkun Sitthiphong as well as distinguished guests from the Japanese Embassy and EGAT executives.

     The Energy Minister Dr. Wannarat Channukul said that Thailand and Japan have had long and unshakable friendship and alliance for over 120 years with close cooperation and partnership in all facets including economic, industrial, social, and energy development. For the latter, both countries have long developed close cooperation and partnership, with Japan sharing knowledge and experience and providing technical and research assistance to numerous development projects of Thailand. The recent earthquake and tsunami has caused devastating losses and damages to Japan and the Japanese people. Thailand, as a long-standing friend of Japan, is ready and willing to assist our good friend in any which way we can. With regard to energy cooperation, the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand gave an approval for EGAT to lend its Nong Chok power generators to Japan as approached by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). The generators from Thailand will be operated to help ease the power shortage in certain areas of Japan following the incident at TEPCO’s Fukushima nuclear power plant.

     EGAT Governor Mr. Sutat Patmasiriwat said that the Cabinet endorsed a resolution made by EGAT Board of Directors for EGAT to assist in kind by lending Japan two sets of power generators totaling 244 megawatts from its Nong Chok Power Plant to be used in Japan by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

     The generating facilities to be lent to Japan comprise two 122-megawatt gas turbine generators from EGAT’s Nong Chok Gas Turbine Power Station, auxiliary components, and needed spare parts. At present, the diesel oil-fired Nong Chok power plant has been taken out of service and has served only as emergency standby units.

     EGAT Governor added that TEPCO will use the gas turbine generators from EGAT for a period of 3 – 5 years to run and provide supplementary power supply in order to restore the power supply system to meet the electricity demand in metropolitan area. TEPCO and Mitsubishi Corporation will be responsible for all processes and arrangements for the removal of the generating facilities from Nong Chok Power Station, shipment to Japan, installation, operation and maintenance, and the same arrangements for the return shipping to their original site in Thailand. Arrangements have presently been made to remove the generators from Nong Chok Power Station for transport and installation in Japan the soonest possible in order to rapidly help restore Japan’s power supply system to meet the high electricity demand in the upcoming summer months. Shipping from Thailand to Japan takes approximately 10 - 15 days. It takes much more time for the processes of installation, test run, power plant synchronization with the Tokyo grid system. Both generating facilities from Thailand are expected to be ready to supply needed power for the Japanese people around August 2011 to help them overcome this time of trials.