Royally-Initiated Development Projects

Since his accession to the throne, His Majesty King Bhumibol has worked assiduously to improve the wellbeing of the Thai people countrywide. With his true concern for rural people, His majesty has spent most of his time visiting people in remote areas while giving the local authorities and villagers valuable advices on the sustainable development of natural resources, particularly water and forest resources. His Majesty has initiated thousands of development projects, which include the construction of dams and irrigation system.

For decades, EGAT has implemented several mini-hydro power projects and other development projects in response to the royal initiatives and advice, which are primarily to serve the basic needs of rural communities while also protecting the environment. It is the greatest pride and honor to EGAT that His Majesty kindly named many of its power plants and also presided over the inauguration of those power plants. All those royally-initiated power and development projects have significantly helped improve the local economy and the quality of life particularly of the people in rural areas and the environment. The followings are some examples of EGAT’s development projects implemented under royal initiatives.

Ban Yang Mini Hydro Power Plant, Chiang Mai

The first small-scale hydropower project was implemented in 1972 in response to the royal advice to improve the living standard of hilltribe people in the North of Thailand. This 124.5 kW mini powerhouse was operated to produce and supply electricity to serve and improve the well-being of the northern hilltribe people in the remote Ban Yang village, Fang district in Chiang Mai province. Their Majesties the King and the Queen graciously presided over the inauguration ceremony of Ban Yang Mini Hydro Power Plant on February 1, 1974.

Ban Khun Klang Hydro Power Plant – Chiang Mai

Ban Khun Klang Mini Hydro Power Plant was constructed in 1982 by EGAT in response to the royal advice that a small power plant should be built to harness the hydro potential from Siribhum Waterfall in Doi Inthanon National Park. This mini hydro power project features two 90 kW generators and a concrete weir built across Me Klang creek at Ban Khun Klang village, Chom Thong district in northern Chiang Mai province. The power plant supplies approximately 0.7 million kWh of energy per year to communities of Ban Khun Klang Village with power surplus delivered to the rural grid system.

Huai Kum Dam and Mini Hydro Power Plant – Chaiyaphum

Huai Kum dam is located on the Nam Phrom River, about 40 kilometers away from the tailrace of Chulabhorn dam in Kaset Somboon district, Chaiyaphum province. Built in 1978, its facilities consisted of a rockfill dam with clay core (35.5 meters high and 282 meters long) and a 1.06 MW semi-underground powerhouse which is 4 meters high from the ground and 11 meters down below the ground surface. The dam forms a reservoir with a storage capacity of 22 million cubic meters to supply water for the downstream irrigation areas of Chulabhorn Dam in Chaiyaphum province whereas the the power plant provides 2 million kWh of electric energy per year. Their Majesties the King and the Queen accompanied by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and HRH Princess Chulabhorn graciously presided over the inauguration ceremony on December 19, 1980.

Ban Santi Hydro Power Plant – Yala

This mini hydro powerhouse was constructed in 1981 following the royal suggestion to optimize benefits from the water overflow from weirs above Bang Lang Reservoir. The powerhouse was built underground, the first of its type in Thailand, at Ban Santi 1 Village, Bannang Sata district in southernmost Yala province. The power plant consists of one 12.75 kW generating unit and a 1,800 m long water conduit. Ban Santi power plant provides annually about 6 million kWh of electric energy to the village. Automatically operated by a remote control system stationed at Bang Lang Hydro Power Plant, Ban Santi boasts the country’s first mini hydro power plant constructed in those days by Thai engineers and technicians.

Phrom Thara Dam and Mini Hydro Power Plant – Chaiyaphum

The dam was built at the left side of Chulabhorn Dam in order to increase the amount of water inflow into Chulabhorn reservoir. After completion in 1982, a water volume 2 million cubic meters has been added to Chulabhorn Dam, thereby boosting the power plant’s energy generation by 2 million kWh per year.

Mae Ngat Somboon Chon Mini-Hydro Power Plant – Chiang Mai

Mae Ngat Dam was constructed by the Royal Irrigation Department (RID) in 1977. The dam is of earth-filled type, 59 meters high and 1,950 meters long at the crest and has a total storage capcity of 325 million cubic meters. EGAT later constructed a powerhouse with two 4.5 kW generators, which provides approximately 29 million kWh of energy to surrounding villages. His Majesty the King graciously conferred the name Mae Ngat Somboon Chon Dam on January 16, 1986 and graciously performed the inauguration ceremony of the dam on February 22, 1986.

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