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Landscape photo of the Huay Bong wind farm Engineer inside wind turbine

Huay Bong 207MW wind farm, Thailand

Mott MacDonald supported the project lenders from due diligence to commercial operation as independent engineer for the first utility-scale wind farm in Thailand, which is also the largest wind farm in south east Asia.

Upwards facing shot of a Huay Bong wind turbine.
Huay Bong - Wind Turbine
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Huay Bong - Wind Turbine Huay Bong – Thailand’s first utility-scale wind farm.

On behalf of lenders Kasikorn Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, TISCO Bank and ICBC (Thai) we reviewed the technical and commercial robustness of the plant design, interconnection arrangements and project contracts prior to project financing. We reviewed construction progress, cost and quality issues for two years and had an ongoing role in operations management for the lenders covering wind regime monitoring, maintenance quality and cost control.

Challenges

  • As Thailand’s forerunning wind farm, the pre-construction project financing process faced a number of technical, regulatory and interconnection challenges, inevitable with first-of-a-kind development.

  • Similarly, during construction, many of the contractors and subcontractors needed substantial guidance and oversight.

  • Wind speeds in Thailand were lower after wind farm commissioning than the long-term average, causing concern among stakeholders new to wind power developments and threatening to affect confidence in future wind farm developments.

Key facts

  • Huay Bong wind farm operates in the hillside area of Korat Province in central Thailand, 150km north of Bangkok
  • It will sell electricity for a 25-year period to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT)
  • The 207MW plant comprises 90 wind turbines each of 2.3MW with a blade diameter of 101m which is appropriate for Thailand's moderate wind speeds.
  • The total investment in the project is US$222 million

    Solutions

    • We supported the lenders to overcome the technical, regulatory and interconnection challenges at the pre-construction stage based on our global experience in the development of wind farms.
    • We were proactive in meeting with the project sponsor during the project construction phase, over and above our scope, to understand and help resolve technical issues affecting the lenders - including potential delays, cost overruns and quality shortfalls.
    • Following results from initial commercial operation we proactively engaged with the stakeholders, including lenders and their credit committees, to help improve the understanding of wind power resources, variability and controllable factors. We carried out validation of wind farm operating performance and clearly presented operating wind speeds against long term trends to improve lender confidence in the sustainability of the wind farm.
    101m
    blade diameter, appropriate for Thailand's moderate wind speeds
    90
    total number of wind turbines
    US$222m
    total project investment

    Value and benefits

    • The project experienced a number of technical issues related to turbine and balance of plant construction quality, which we participated in mitigating through review of project rectification plans for the lenders
    • Our expertise ensured that the lender’s concerns were addressed and proactively responded to, which therefore has strengthened all the lenders’ confidence in both our services and in wind power as a viable technology for Thailand
    • In the same manner, our expertise allowed fruitful discussions on our concerns with the developer. Our commitment has led to strong relationships with all stakeholders, leading to further appointments as independent engineer for upcoming wind projects with the same sponsor and lenders.

    We ensured that lenders' concerns were proactively responded to, which has strengthened lenders’ confidence in wind power as a viable technology for Thailand.

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