The Thai Government is planning to make a Petrochemical Industrial Estate in the South of Thailand and therefore needs more electricity in that area.
As part of the energy project, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) is planning to build a Coal Plant in Krabi and transport the coal alongside the island of Koh Lanta. Koh Lanta is located on the Andaman Sea and is very dependent on tourism.
What will this mean for the Andaman Sea, Krabi and Koh Lanta?
Coal would be bought from Indonesia, Australia and/or South Africa and transported by boat to Koh Lanta. The coal barges will pass along the famous 4 islands tours close to Koh Lanta called Koh Chueak, Koh Mook, Koh Maa, Koh Ngai, where excursions are regularly organised during high season for snorkelling and day-trips to untouched beaches with corals, white sand, caves and big lizards. The coal barges will also pass Koh Waen, Koh Kradan and Koh Rok.
Furthermore two coal loading docks will be built in the Andaman Sea just outside Koh Lanta.
The actual power plant in Krabi does already exist and is located in an area called Klong Kanan, Nuea Klong. It currently runs on low quality oil but will be rebuilt to generate 800 MW of electricity using coal.
The coal barges will navigate in the middle of at least six marine protected areas of the Andaman Sea and along the world’s top coral reefs and scuba diving site, then head straight into the mangroves and protected sea grass areas around Krabi. It is planned that 90 coal barges will leave the coal docks of Koh Lanta every day.
It seems as this is one problem that is simply not going to be swept under a beaurocratic rug. If you want to find out more, please check out the “No Coal Krabi” Facebook page for more information.