Challenges

Digital transformation is rapidly changing consumers’ daily life, behavior, consumption, as well as society.
Innovation has become a key factor in driving business operations and ensuring the business’s adaptability such changes. Thus, innovation management presents both a challenge and an opportunity for the company to improve its competitiveness in the power plant industry and meet the needs and expectations of consumers while also taking into consideration the well-being of society, environment conservation, and the sustainable development of the organization.

Execution

The company has implemented policies that focus on innovation management as part of efficient resource management. It includes developing engineering knowledge and personnel’s performance; selecting advanced technology and eco-friendly management systems to minimize impacts of the power plants on both the environment and communities; and improving cost management systems to enhance the company’s competitiveness and maximize returns for stakeholders. In addition, the company actively and continuously promotes learning, development, and innovation through three-pronged guidelines on knowledge development for innovation as detailed below.

Guidelines on knowledge development for innovation

Innovation and Diffusion of Innovation

Committed to developing a model for eco-friendly hydroelectric power plants in Mekong River, the Xayaburi Hydroelectric Power Plant not only uses cutting-edge technology, but has also introduced innovative design and construction never before seen in the region, such as multi-system fish passages. In addition, the company actively and continuously promotes the sharing of knowledge and successful experiences across various dimensions to all regions through power plant tours and seminars on the aforementioned innovation, as well as the spreading of knowledge on clean energy, renewable energy, and energy conserving innovation, as well as energy efficiency practices.

In 2019, the company focused on developing knowledge for innovation among youths in the communities surrounding the project sites to support UN’s Sustainable Development Goal no. 4 on sustainable development on education equality.

Furthermore, the company has digitally transformed its business operations to enhance preparedness by, for instance, introducing “SAP S/4 HANA 1610 SP 2,” a new solution from SAP to reduce operational complexity and boost operational efficiency. Additionally, the company has improved and modernized the its working processes in preparation for its future growth under the “industry framework,” an industry standard model for business processes, in order to efficiently achieve its digital transformation goals within the designated timeframe and budget.

Manufacturing innovations

Deactivation of gas compressors

Currently, the Bangpa-in Cogeneration Power Plant Generation 1 (BIC-1) has three gas compressors, 2 in operation and 1 as a spare. The equipment pressurizes fuel gases from 26 to 51 bars during peak periods and from 26 to 38 bars during off-peak periods and feeds the gasses to gas turbines. An observation on the gas compressors’ performance during off-peak periods has shown that the gas turbines need a low fuel gas flow, resulting in leftover fuel gases which flow back into the compressors through recirculation control valves to be re-pressurized, resulting in energy waste.

Deactivation of a Cooling Fan during Off-peak Periods

As there is less heat that needs to be dissipated during off peak periods, coupled with lower temperatures at night, there is no need for cooling towers to operate at maximum capacity. Thus, the company has begun to deactivate one cooling fan during 00.00-06:00 hrs. every day, which reduces electricity consumption by 200,000 kilowatt/hour annually or an equivalent of 500,000 THB each year. In addition, the company has shortened the working hours to slow wear and tear of the machine. The company also entered the Deactivation of a Cooling Fan during Off-Peak Periods initiative into the Matterhorn Challenge, a project that promotes creativity and innovation by GPSC, and won the second runner-up prize.