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POWER UTILITY, PROJECT | Staff Reporter, Thailand
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Gulf Energy declares coal doomed as banks pull out financing

It is aiming to triple its installed capacity to about 6.7GW by 2024.

Whilst coal might be a traditionally cheaper source of electricity, one tycoon thinks Southeast Asia will no longer tolerate burning the dirtiest fuel as it becomes harder to get public approvals and clean energy becomes cheaper, a Bloomberg report revealed.

Sarath Ratanavadi, founder of Thailand’s Gulf Energy Development, is seeking to electrify swaths of the region using natural gas and renewables.

Gulf Energy plans to nearly triple installed capacity to about 6.7GW in 2024 from its capacity in 2018, and the company has said it plans to invest about $4.8b (THB150b) over the next few years to build new plants in Southeast Asia. The generator has also had discussions with provincial officials in Vietnam over plans for a $7.8b gas-fired power plant, as well as talks with partners for a hydro project in Laos and a gas-fired plant in Myanmar.

At least 100 major lenders in the past five years have put restrictions on financing coal mines and power plants that burn the fuel, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis said. But some banks are still keeping their options open for coal in Southeast Asia, whilst others plan to withdraw only after finishing multi-billion dollar projects that will operate for decades.

Read the full report here.

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