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RATCH has strictly upheld and fully complied with environmental laws and relevant regulations. Aside from this, environmental management principles have been included in the Code of Conduct while management guidelines are integrated in the Company’s Environment Policy and Corporate Sustainability Development Policy’s environmental dimension. The guidelines have been communicated with all businesses under the Company’s control.

Code of Conduct Environment Policy Corporate Sustainability
Development Policy
  • Utilize resources efficiently
  • Make sure production process meets prescribed standards to reduce natural resource utilization and pollution
  • Outline natural resource and biodiversity conservation measures
  • Respond promptly to operational impacts on natural resources and biodiversity
  • Examine the efficiency of measures in remedying and preventing impacts in environmental, economic and social dimensions
  • Manage environmental quality and biodiversity accordingly to rules and laws
  • Invest, develop and improve environmental management to uplift management efficiency and environmental quality control
  • Invent and find ways to reduce resources/energy consumption as well as pollutants, waste and greenhouse gases to reduce impacts on the environment, community and society
  • Strictly comply with rules and laws
  • Promote engagement in environmental and energy activities
  • Emphasize efficient resource and energy utilization
  • Protect the environment and prevent pollution caused by raw materials through continual impact evaluation or evaluation in light of changes in raw materials or process
  • Communicate with stakeholders to ensure their understanding

Environmental Management Process

RATCH’s core business, electricity generation, requires a large amount of resources throughout the life cycle from construction to operations, maintenance and decommissioning. In all stages, the Company puts in place an environmental management process that emphasizes maximum resource utilization and minimum environmental impacts. The objectives are to deliver eco-friendly electricity to customers, reflect the Company’s product responsibility and support the Sustainable Development Goal on sustainable consumption and production. (SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production Target 12.5: Substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.)

Environmental Management Approach of Electricity Generation Business

Resource and energy consumption principles and targets

Fuel consumption

In 2021, the power plants over which RATCH had operational control were: Ratchaburi Power Plant, Nava Nakorn Power Plant, Berkprai Cogeneration Power Plant and RATCH Cogeneration Power Plant in Thailand; and Kemerton Power Station and Townsville Power Station in Australia. All have ably maintained their efficiency, hence keeping the utilization of resources at a reasonable level compared to output. Moreover, some power plants have invented and adjusted generating techniques that have saved fuel consumption or enhanced the efficiency of heat utilization.

Berkprai Cogeneration Power Plant changed the final filter of gas turbines, to enhance combustion efficiency and reduce heat loss that reduced the consumption of natural gas by 53 million cubic feet, which is equivalent to 43,598 million BTU of reduced heat utilization and 6,387 tCO2e of reduced GHG emissions.

  • Fuel consumption at RATCH-controlled power plants in 2019-2021
    The four RATCH-controlled power plants in Thailand (contributing 76.2% of total revenue in 2021) utilized fuel for generating electricity of 124.25 megajoules in total.

    In 2021, Ratchaburi Thermal Power Plant Unit 1 and 2 with 735 MW capacity each resumed operations on the National Control Center’s order, having been put under reserved shutdown since 2018 to support fuel security and the stability of domestic electricity prices. Bunker oil was specified for generation.
Indicators Unit 2021 2020 2019
Volume of natural gas million cubic feet 121,482 129,310 121,916
Volume of bunker oil liter 161,121,423 0 0
Volume of diesel liter 9,244,423 2,020,571 395,848
Net generation output megawatt-hour 14,625,418 14,933,403 14,249,996
Average heat rate
(IPP Plant)
BTU/kilowatt-hour 7,148 7,144 7,094
Average heat rate
(SPP Plant)
BTU/kilowatt-hour 7,671 7,755 7,872
Energy Consumption terajoule 71.4 77.9 72.9

Note: The average heat utilization data concerns only the power plants in Thailand.

Raw water consumption

The four controlled power plants in Thailand used raw water for electricity generation activities from two major sources: Mae Klong River Basin and Chao Phraya River Basin. RATCH Group’s power plants give importance to monitor closely the water releases and raw water usage. The data is the basis for the assessment of risks relating to water shortage and conflicts with community over water as well as water stress accordingly to World Resources Institute (Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas and the Water Risk Filter). The process is crucial to prevent water shortages that may affect operations and send a chain effect on the economy and the general public, as well as to reduce impacts on communities that rely on water, particularly from the Chao Phraya River, which is classified as a basin with a high water stress level.

In 2021, the four power plants’ water withdrawal from the two river basins did not change water levels, cause shortages or spark conflict with the community over water.

Water withdrawal and power generation based on water stress levels

Power Plant Water source Water stress level Water utilization per power unit (cubic meter/megawatt-hour) Power generation based on water stress levels
low-medium
(10-20%)
medium-high
(21-40%)
high
(41-80%)
Ratchaburi Mae Klong River - - 0.96 82.59
Berkprai Cogeneration Mae Klong River - - 1.55 4.38
Nava Nakorn Tap water coming from Chao Phraya River - - 1.56 8.28
RATCH Cogeneration Tap water coming from Chao Phraya River - - 1.40 4.76

Water use in power generation by RATCH-controlled power plants in 2021

Power Plant Water source Raw water (million cubic meter) Water utilization per power unit (cubic meter/ megawatt-hour) Water discharge Net water utilization (raw water - water discharge) (million cubic meter)
Volume (million cubic meter) % of utilized raw water
Ratchaburi Mae Klong River 11.60 0.96 0.99 8.57 10.60
Berkprai Cogeneration Mae Klong River 0.99 1.55 0.29 28.89 0.70
Nava Nakorn Tap water coming from Chao Phraya River 1.88 1.56 0.10 5.23 1.79
RATCH Tap water coming from Chao Phraya River 0.97 1.40 0.12 12.70 0.85
Australia Base
  • Kemerton
  • Townsville
Tap water and surface water 0.12 0.35 0.03 27.83 0.09

Water management guidelines of RATCH’s power plants in Thailand

The four RATCH-controlled power plants have put efforts in continually finding solutions that will reduce water utilization in power generation. An emphasis is placed on enhancing the efficiency of the cooling tower water treatment system to maximize water recycling.

Power Plant Province Recycling target (cycles) Average cycles (cycles)
2021 2020 2019
Ratchaburi Thermal Ratchaburi 4-6 2.67 Non-operation Non-operation
Ratchaburi Combined Cycle 4-6 5.01 4.81 4.91
Berkprai Cogeneration 5 3.73 4.07 -
Nava Nakorn Pathum Thani 5 4.11 4.16 4.82
RATCH Cogeneration 6 8.08 6.67 -

To meet the target in reducing raw water withdrawal by 500,000 cubic meters, the power plants also reused the blow-down water in the production process.

RATCH and its power plants give importance to factors that influence the four aspects of environmental quality – air quality, water quality, waste and noise – and the management of those factors. Preventive and remedial measures are in place, in line with EIA, legal requirements and international environmental standards.

Environmental Management Approach and Process

Air quality management

The air quality management system is designed to control, reduce and eliminate pollutants from the production process in order to meet requirements and to not cause impacts on community and the environment.

All power plants have outlined risk-management measures in case the air quality control system malfunctions and pollutants rise to 80% of permissible limits. The measures are shown in the chart below:

  • Results of air quality measurement at RATCH’s power plants in Thailand
    The pollutant intensity of the four power plants has been monitored continuously, and combustion pollutants have remained within permissible limits. Besides this, the air quality at stack measuring system has been tested and verified by an external examiner on an annual basis.
    Power Plant Average concentration of pollutant emissions*
    NOX (ppm) SO2 (ppm) Backup fuel
    Natural gas Fuel oil Natural gas Fuel oil
    Ratchaburi Thermal 57.98 88.92 6.33 142.99 Bunker oil
    Ratchaburi Combined Cycle 27.26 89.93 2.53 17.20 Diesel
    Target (Not exceeding legal limits)** 120 180 20 320 -
    Nava Nakorn 35.58 - 0.42 - None
    Berkprai Cogeneration 39.25 - 3.52 - None
    RATCH Cogeneration 27.00 - 0 - None
    Target (Not exceeding EIA limit) 60 - 10 - -
    Note : * Average pollutant concentration from Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems
      ** Standards as in the notification of Ministry of Industry on the limit of air pollutants emitted by power-generating, transmission or distribution plants B.E. 2547
  • Ambient air quality monitoring in communities in 2021
    Being a large-scaled power plant, Ratchaburi Power Plant installed ambient air quality monitoring systems (AAQMs) at four stations around the premises to cover wind directions in all seasons. A similar monitoring process is exercised by other power plants to cover wind directions and monitor the air quality in all seasons. The system efficiency is inspected every year. At Ratchaburi Power Plant, the efficiency and accuracy are verified by external inspectors on an annual basis.
    The monitoring showed the ambient air quality at all power plants stayed within permissible limits, and ozone only around Ratchaburi Power Plant always spikes above the limits in the dry season every year. The contaminants are found in the power plant’s upwind and downwind direction.
    Air quality monitoring stations at nearby communities 24-hour average 1-hour average
    Total Suspended Particulate (μg/m3) Particulate Matter smaller than 10 micron (μg/m3) SO2 (ppb) SO2 (ppb) NO2 (ppb) O3 (ppb)
    Ratchaburi Power Plant 11-142 2-115 1-4 1-19 0-46 0-149
    Nava Nakorn Power Plant 17-67 8-48 2-4 2-5 1-45 No monitoring
    RATCH Cogeneration Power Plant 21-168 12-116 1-7 1-9 1-67 No monitoring
    Berkprai Cogeneration Power Plant 28-90 13-50 2-4 1-6 1-36 10-37
    Target (Not exceeding permissible limits) 330[1] 120[1] 120[1] 300[2] 170[3] 100[4]
    Note: μg/m3 = microgram per cubic meter
      ppb = part per billion
      Standards in line with the Notification of National Environment Board:
      [1] as specified in the No.24 announcement of the National Environmental Board (B.E.2547) on ambient air quality standards
      [2] as specified in the No.21 announcement of the National Environmental Board (B.E.2544) on 1-hour sulfur dioxide standard in ambient air
      [3] as specified in the No.33 announcement of the National Environmental Board (B.E.2552) on Nitrogen dioxide standard in ambient air
      [4] as specified in the No.28 announcement of the National Environmental Board (B.E.2550) on ambient air quality standards

Water Quality Management

Wastewater from power plants and an office building is treated separately. Parts of treated water are reused, for example, to water demonstration agricultural fields and trees. The rest are recycled and reused before discharge to the last water treatment pond. There, the Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) are measured and the results are reported to the Department of Industrial Works through an online system, before being discharged to the natural water channels outside the power plant.

Ratchaburi Power Plant improves the quality of some treated water through the reversed osmosis filter system and reuses the water in the production process. It also checks the quality of water at the discharge point, above and below the discharge point, to ensure that discharged water will not send negative impacts on the natural water channel and that the community downstream can use water safely.

Ratchaburi Power Plant’s water quality management

For small power plant’s water quality management at Nava Nakhon Power Plant, RATCH Cogeneration Power Plant and Berkprai Cogeneration Power Plant is as follows:

Power plants’ water discharge in 2021

Power Plant Discharge (cubic meter) Discharge point
Ratchaburi 993,491 Khlong Bang Pa, Mae Klong River
Nava Nakorn 98,498 Nava Nakorn Industrial Zone's treatment system
Berkprai Cogeneration 286,175 Mae Klong River
RATCH Cogeneration 123,356 Given to other organizations as requested

Results of water quality monitoring

Indicator (average) Unit RGCO NNEG BPC RCO Target
Royal Irrigation Department's standard limit [2] Industry Ministry's standard limit [3] MNRE's standard limit [4]
Temperature degrees Celcius 31.3 29.9 28.6 28.7 Not exceeding 33 (only for Ratchaburi Power Plant) and not exceeding 40 (power plants in general) Not exceeding 40 Not exceeding 40
pH - 7.6 7.6 7.8 8.2 6.5-8.5 5.5-9.0 5.5-9.0
Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) Milligrams/liter 4.0 5.0 2.1 3.3 Not exceeding 20 Not exceeding 20 Not exceeding 20
Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) Milligrams/liter 24.3 - 31.6 60.8 Not exceeding 120 Not exceeding 120 Not exceeding 120
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Milligrams/liter 952 230 880 1,631 Not exceeding 1,300 Not exceeding 3,000 Not exceeding 3,000
Conductivity Microsiemens/centimeter 1,247 - 1,302 - Not exceeding 2,000 Unspecified No limit
Note: Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) is the amount of oxygen consumed by microorganisms to decompose organic matter.
  Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) is the oxygen required to oxidize soluble and particulate organic matter in water.
  Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) is the dissolved combined content of all inorganic and organic substances.
  [1] Quality of wastewater from Ratchaburi Power Plant and Ratchaburi-Power’s Power Plant
  [2] The Royal Irrigation Department’s standard is based on Order #73/2011 regarding the prevention and mitigation of low-quality water discharge to irrigation channels and all channels connected with irrigation channels.
  [3] Industry Ministry’s standard regarding the specifications of factories’ discharged water B.E 2560
  [4] Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s standard is based on Ministerial Regulation regarding water discharges by industrial plants, industrial estates and industrial zones; as well as Industry Ministry’s Ministerial Regulation B.E. 2560 concerning the control of factories’ water discharges prior to transportation to NNCL’s retention ponds.

Waste Management

Theoretically, power plants choose waste management approaches that have proved best for their waste and comply with regulatory requirements, industrial best practices and international environmental standards. The process starts with a study of approaches that utilize less resources to keep waste as low as possible. Waste will be processed or used as raw materials for the making of other products, or go to furnaces for steam production. Landfills are usually the last option. RATCH has put in place a policy demanding the Company’s power plants to set a zero landfill target, so as to reduce impact on soil, groundwater, surface water, ecosystems and all beings

Performance in 2021

The volume of waste from the four power plants and management methods are as follows:

Management methods Type of waste Applied Method On-site handling Off-site handling Total %
Volume (ton)
Reuse through recovery process (93.7% of total waste) Hazardous Waste Reuse 0 0 0 0
Recycle 0 79.44 79.44 1.48
Other Recovery Operations 0 0 0 0
Non-hazardous Waste Reuse 0 0 0 0
Recycle 0 4,946.13 4,946.13 92.22
Other Recovery Operations 0 0 0 0
Disposal (6.3% of total waste) Hazardous Waste Incineration with Energy Recovery 0 249.09 249.09 4.64
Incineration without Energy Recovery 0 12.90 12.90 0.24
Landfilling/On-site storage 3.34 0.61 3.95 0.07
Other Disposal Operations 0 16.37 16.37 0.31
Non-hazardous Waste Incineration with Energy Recovery 0 9.38 9.38 0.17
Incineration without Energy Recovery 0 0 0 0
Landfilling/On-site storage 2.00 32.49 34.49 0.64
Other Disposal Operations 0 11.77 11.77 0.22

Utilization of Ratchaburi Power Plant’s used gypsum

Ratchaburi Power Plant continually utilized gypsum, a by-product from desulfurization stored at the gypsum pond. In cooperation with Siam Gypsum Industry (Songkhla) Company Limited and Knauf Gypsum (Thailand) Company Limited, the power plant manufactured gypsum boards from the gypsum and delivered the gypsum boards to communities around the power plant. In 2021, 4,946 tons of gypsum was used.

Noise Management

Noise generated by power generation may have a significant impact on operators, communities and all beings in the vicinity. Power plants’ design thus includes a noise prevention system, and there are measures to reduce noise from the following three factors:

Factors Key mitigation measures
Noise from power plants such as noise from generators
  • Install silencer for noise control near the area or equipment that cause loud noise
  • Install mobile silencer for activities such as pipe cleaning
Noise pollution passage (interval from source location to receptors)
  • Grow trees as sound barrier around power plants
  • Install noise barrier in the areas close to community
Sound receptors
  • Employees
  • Nearby community or environment
  • Install noise area safety signs, provide employees with personal protection equipment like earplugs and ear muffs, and specify the working time in loud-noise areas
  • Issue letters to community ahead of any activity that might cause louder-than-usual noise

RATCH’s criteria for the development or joint investment in power generation or related businesses require a comprehensive assessment of project risks and impacts on the environment and ecosystems. RATCH vows to reject the development or joint investment in projects located close to World Heritage Sites, historical sites or areas that constitute high risks to endangered species, local animal breeds or the species enlisted in IUCN Red List.

Biodiversity Management Approach

RATCH demands the group’s power plants outline measures to prevent and reduce impacts on the environment and ecosystems and thoroughly follow the environmental quality/ecosystem impact monitoring system. The measures call for the seasonal monitoring of the quantity and density of population as well as similarities on an annual basis.

The Company Group controls eight power plants: four in Thailand and four in Australia. The eight power plants span through a total area of 150,106 rai or 24,017 hectares. The following is the assessment of impacts on biodiversity as well as preventive, surveillance and monitoring measures:

Assessment of impacts on power plants’ biodiversity

Power plant/Project Country Area (Hectares) Possible impacts on ecosystem/biodiversity Preventive, surveillance and monitoring measures
Ratchaburi Thailand 322.4 Construction and operation may affect the habitat and food sources of all four animal types (birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles) as well as living organisms in wastewater reservoir (phytoplankton, zooplankton and benthos)
  • Track wildlife quantity and diversity.
  • Track sum of species, density and biodiversity index of living organisms in wastewater reservoir biannually.
RATCH Cogeneration 8.1 An impact assessment shows the operation will have no impact on the ecosystem and biodiversity, as the project location is in a city area and wastewater is not discharged to natural water channels (but given to other organizations). Not specified
Nava Nakorn 6.9 Construction and operation may affect the ecosystem and fishery activities in Khlong Chiang Rak Noi (phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthos, fish eggs and baby fish). Track sum of species, density, biodiversity index and evenness index of living organisms in wastewater reservoir biannually.
Berkprai Cogeneration 8.6 Discharge of water from the operation may affect the ecosystem (phytoplankton, zooplankton and benthos). Track sum of species, abundance, density and biodiversity index at checkpoints biannually.
Collinsville Solar Farm Australia 70.9 The environmental impact assessment shows no the project’s risk and impact against terrestrial/aquatic organisms. Not specified
Mount Emerald Wind Farm 2,400.0 Construction and operation may affect local animal breeds’ habitat. Track quantity and type of species of animals
  • Bird and bat : annually
  • Quoll : triannually
Yandin Wind Farm 15,000.0 Construction and operation may affect local plant fields as well as birds that may hit wind turbines, cable wire or maintenance vehicles. Track quantity and diversity of local animals, birds and plants in every 2 years
Collector Wind Farm 6,200.0 Construction and operation may affect plants, animals, forests and pastures. Track quantity and diversity of
  • Bat and bird : annually
  • Carcass : monthly

Biodiversity survey results in 2021

Power plant/Project Survey results
Ratchaburi 97 species of wild animals were found: 69 bird species, six mammal species, nine amphibian species, and thirteen reptile species.
  • 70 species (65 bird species and five reptile species) were protected under the Wildlife Reservation and Protection Act B.E. 2562
  • 102 species were classified under Thailand’s bio-resources status (2017):
    • 2 near-threatened species
    • 2 vulnerable species
    • 98 least-concerned species which are of high numbers and show low risk of extinction.
  • 101 species were enlisted in IUCN Red List (2021):
    • 2 near threatened species
    • 99 least concerned species
The survey on the species, density and biodiversity of living beings in the water pond that entailed phytoplankton, zooplankton and benthos found unstable results. The results depended on the conditions of the pond, which was partly surrounded by community, livestock or agricultural farms or covered by aquatic plants.
Nava Nakorn Nava Nakorn Power Plant found no change in the sum of species, density, biodiversity and evenness of plant plankton and animal plankton in a survey that covered the pumping station near the Chao Phraya River and Khlong Chiang Rak Noi (where Nava Nakorn Industrial Zone’s wastewater is discharged), at the discharge point, below it and above. The sum of species and biodiversity index of baby fish showed no change. No fish eggs were found at the survey points
Berkprai Cogeneration The 2021 survey on the sum of species, density and diversity of plant plankton, animal plankton, benthos, fish eggs and freshwater fish at the pumping station and three points in the Mae Klong River (50 meter above the pumping station and 50, 500 and 1,000 meters below the discharge point). The finding of the four survey points shown that diversity index of phytoplankton, zooplankton and benthos were likely the same, while diversity index of fish indicated low diversity.
Mount Emerald Wind Farm
  • The survey tracked local animal species like Quoll, in five survey points (including two points at the wind farm).
  • The survey found no change in Quoll population.
Yandin Wind Farm The 2021 survey found none of birds and bats impacted from the wind farm.
Collector Wind Farm The 2021 survey tracked number of local bird and bat carcasses in vicinity of wind turbine and they were not protected and rare species.