On May 2015, The National Energy Policy Committee approved the Power Development Plan for 2015 to 2036 introducing significant changes in different aspects such as on national economy with a less impact on people cost of living, energy security with less dependent on natural gas, environment releasing 37% less carbon monoxide (low carbon society in 2050) and on regional integration with more solid commitment with Asean region.
The energy consumption is increasing fast in the South of Thailand but the electric infrastructure still remains obsolete to fit with the growth of consumption in the main touristic areas. According to the Ministry of Energy, the country’s energy consumption is actually growing an average of 2.67 % per year but the demand is growing even faster in the South with an average of 5% annually.
In this socioeconomic context and taken in consideration the importance of the tourist sector for Thailand’s economy, the Energy Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) is implementing the modernization of several key energy infrastructures of the country.
As a matter of fact, the plans are very ambitious as during 2017 there will be tenders of 55 contracts for developing high voltage transmission lines in the South of Thailand, where as we said before the demand has grown notably as a consequence of the tourism. The capacity for these tenders will be 500 kilo voltage with a value of 157 million baht and in the south of the country will cover 800 Kilometers.
Due to certain market barriers, obstacles on the accessibility to TOR documentation, several foreign corporations targeting Thailand in this sector are exploring different business models to access and penetrate to this market. In my opinion the amount of upcoming projects, the implementation of PPP projects and the subsequent need of bank guarantees for different bids enhance the possibility for foreign companies to enter successfully into the Thai market via a Joint venture scheme with a local company.
As a foreign legal consultant in Thailand, I see that lawyers specialized on infrastructures and energy can play an important role assisting foreign civil construction and energy companies to correctly enter to the market. Hereby I am referring to traditional and innovative services.
By traditional legal services I refer to assisting on public tenders’ proceedings and advising on the Energy and Civil Construction Regulatory Framework, Licenses and Laws in Thailand such as the Energy Development and Promotion Act, Energy Conservation Act, Investment Promotion Act and Ministerial regulations and other subsidiary legislation, as well as providing full administrative and Legal support preparing, reviewing, drafting and submitting documentation to Public Tender Bids, interpretation of contract documentation for engineering works.
From my point of view, the scope of work can go further as legal professionals are in an excellent position to be able to innovate the range of legal services to identify potential business partners in Thailand, assisting on key business discussions with the decision makers of the top leading Thai civil construction conglomerates, engaging on public procurement with the Thai Administration, conducting on a second stage a Legal and Corporate Due-diligence assessment on these prospective business partners, facilitating the commencement of operations and increasing the potential on obtaining public contracts, providing an invaluable on site market intelligence.