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Landscape photo of the Huay Bong wind farm

Huay Bong 207MW wind farm, Thailand

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

101m
blade diameter, appropriate for Thailand's moderate wind speeds
90
total number of wind turbines
US$222M
total project investment

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 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.

Solutions

  • We supported the lenders to overcome the technical, regulatory and interconnection challenges at the pre-construction stage.
  • 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 the results from the initial commercial operation we proactively engaged with stakeholders, including lenders and their credit committees, to improve the understanding of wind power resources, variability and controllable factors. We carried out validation of wind farm operating performance and presented operating wind speeds against long term trends to improve lender confidence in the sustainability of the wind farm.

Outcome

  • 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.
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