Energy Permanent Secretary Kurujit Nakhonthap today reassured the public that the coal-fired power plant in Krabi would not cause impacts to the livelihood, the environment and tourism industry of the southern province.
In a statement, he said the ministry welcomed the protesters' three demands: to cancel the environmental impact assessment report, to definitely postpone the August 5 bid, and to form a joint committee.
He also insisted that the project is implemented accordingly to environmental laws.
"The clean-coal power plant, to replace an old lignite-fired power plant, is to ensure sufficient power supply under the Power Development Plan 2015, particularly for the South," he said.
He insisted Thailand needed to diversify electricity-generating fuels as about 70 per cent of electricity is generated by natural gas. If the power plant is delayed indefinitely as demanded by the opponents, Thailand would need to import more natural gas and that would push up power tariffs and affect all parts of Thai society.