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         EGAT and SECOT Co., Ltd. thanked the residents of Surat Thani Province for participating in the 2nd public hearing of the Surat Thani Power Plant Project, Blocks 1-2. The opinions will be used to conduct a complete Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the greatest benefit of the people of Surat Thani and all stakeholders.

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         On August 3-4, 2020, EGAT through SECOT Co., Ltd. held the 2nd public hearing on conducting the draft report, measures to prevent and solve environmental impact, and measures to monitor environmental impact in the EIA of Surat Thani Power Plant Project, Blocks 1-2. Mr. Jaray Kwangerd, Deputy Governor of Surat Thani Province, Mr. Sitthichai Thaicharoen, Chief of Phunphin District, Surat Thani Province, and Mrs. Sriwan Buranachokepisal, EGAT Assistant Governor - Power Plant Planning along with related persons attended the public hearing. A total of 1,127 people attended the public hearing, including residents in the project area, government agencies, state enterprises, local government, private sector, educational institutions, NGOs, religious leaders, and interested people. There were 19 spoken opinions from 6 sub-districts in Phunphin District (Phunphin, Tha Kham, Nong Sai, Tha Rong Chang, Khao Hua Khwai, and Tha Sathon Sub-districts) and from 1 sub-district in Mueang Surat Thani District (Khlong Noi Sub-district). People from nearby areas and the general public also attended the meeting at Surat Thani Co-op Exhibition Centre of Princess Ubol Ratana Rajakanya in Phunphin District, Surat Thani Province.

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         Mr. Jaray Kwangerd, Deputy Governor of Surat Thani Province said that he was pleased EGAT and the consulting company held the 2nd public hearing for the public and all sectors to hear the results of the environmental impact assessment and the different aspects of the project’s environmental measures and to give their opinions on the project. Surat Thani Province is considered a main city of the southern region with industries and important natural attractions, such as Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, and Rajjaprabha Dam (Chiew Lan Dam) and needs electricity to drive the economy and to prevent brownout and blackout. The Surat Thani Power Plant Project, Blocks 1-2 is necessary and important for maintaining power system security for the province and the country.

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         Mr. Khanchai Kriangkraiudom, environmental specialist of SECOT Co., Ltd. said that during the public hearing, the company gave information to the public and related agencies on the study of the environmental impact on all aspects, including measures to prevent and solve environmental impact, and measures to monitor environmental impact. The 2nd public hearing was open for residents in the area, government sector, local leaders, private organizations, educational institutions, the media, and the general public to offer opinions and suggestions to improve the project in every aspect; adding on to the 1st public hearing on September 19, 2019 which was to determine the scope and guidelines for the environmental impact assessment. Moreover, a survey of the attitude and opinions of organizations and people at the household level was conducted from November 2019 - April 2020.

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         As for the aspects people are still concerned about, such as taking care of environmental impact, giving the youth and the local community an opportunity to work at the power plant, developing ecotourism, supporting power plants to become learning centers on energy, allowing the people to monitor environmental quality, and supporting community development with power development fund, every comment and suggestion is useful and the company will use it to improve the EIA of Surat Thani Power Plant Project, Blocks 1-2 in all aspects before submitted to the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning for further consideration.

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         Mrs. Sriwan Buranachokepisal, EGAT Assistant Governor - Power Plant Planning thanked all participants who gave their time to attend the public hearing. Every person is important for the study of the project and every comment and suggestion will be used to conduct a complete report for the greatest benefit of the residents in the project area. Surat Thani Power Plant Project, Blocks 1-2 is a power plant in Thailand’s Power Development Plan B.E. 2561-2580 (PDP2018) to maintain power system security in the southern region, especially on the Andaman Sea side which still lacks a main power plant in the area. It will also support the growth of the economy and tourism in the southern region in which Surat Thani Province has the 3rd highest electricity demand in the South. The power plant will be built in the area of the existing Surat Thani Power Plant which has been decommissioned from the system due to an expiry of service life. With an existing transmission system in the area, there is no need to build a new transmission system, which does not add to the electricity generation cost. The project has a total generating capacity of around 1,660 MW and uses natural gas as main fuel and diesel as supplementary fuel. Its commercial operation date (COD) is scheduled for 2027 and 2029 for blocks 1 and 2 respectively. In addition, the new power plant will create income and jobs for the locals and will receive funds from the power development fund to further develop the community.