Thailand could brace potential gas supply shortage from Myanmar
The country is expected to rely on Laos for electricity supply.
Thailand’s power sector will likely remain resilient amidst potential gas supply shortage from Myanmar after Total and Chevron announced plans to withdraw from the Yadana natural gas project.
Thailand is heavily reliant of gas power generation, which accounts for 63% of its generation mix in 2021. It will likely continue to be the dominant generation type through 2031.
“Thailand has yet to announce any plans to combat a potential crunch in gas resources from the developments in Myanmar’s gas sector,” Fitch noted in a report.
“We believe that Thailand has to secure gas imports from other markets, or ramp up electricity generation from other power types (potentially coal or biomass and waste) should the Yadana gas field halt operations.”
Fitch added the country is also expected to increase electricity trading with Laos to ensure an adequate supply of electricity.
Whilst Thailand electricity imports are mainly from Laos and Myanmar, most of its electricity come from Laos, generated from hydropower.
Thailand and Laos have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), under which Laos is expected to devote 9,000MW of capacity for electricity export to Thailand. At present, the utilised capacity is at 5,720MW, of which 3,947MW is from seven hydropower stations, and 1,473MW from one coal power station.
On top of this, the Thailand government is eyeing to increase import capacity from Laos by 1,200MW through new hydropower projects.
“We expect this increase in export to be realised by 2025, with new conventional thermal projects in Laos to compensate for its domestic power needs, allowing the market to export more hydropower,” the report also read.