The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved investment in a 73MW solar power plant in central Thailand. ADB will lend up to $70m equivalent in Thai baht to Natural Energy Development Company to build the plant.

The loan will come from ADB’s ordinary capital resources and the plant will be located in Lopburi province in central Thailand.

Joe Yamagata, deputy director general of private sector operations department at ADB, said: “Solar energy is an abundant resource throughout Thailand and therefore has huge potential to fill the rising demand from Thai businesses, communities and households.

“This private sector undertaking should demonstrate clearly to other investors the viability of investing in solar projects if the right financing structure including carbon credits is in place.”

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand will buy all of the net 55MW generated electricity from the plant. Natural Energy Development Company is also working with ADB to prefinance certified emission reductions under ADB’s Carbon Market Initiative.

In addition to the loan, ADB will provide a $2m grant from its Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility to cover any contingency costs arising from the use of highly complex thin-film photovoltaic technology on a large scale.