Suntech Power Holdings, a solar panels producer, has secured a contract to supply 9.43MW of solar panels and technical support for the second phase of a 44MW solar power plant owned by Bangchak Petroleum Public, an oil company, in Thailand.

Suntech has also provided 34.5MW of solar panels and technical support for the first phase of the project, integrated by Solartron Public, a company that provides design, engineering, installation, and commissioning, monitoring, maintenance services for solar PV projects.

The electricity generated from this project, which is expected to be grid-connected by late-2011, will be purchased and distributed by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand and the Provincial Electricity Authority under long-term power purchase agreements.

The development of this project representing the beginning of Bangchak Petroleum’s B15bn initiative to develop around 140MW of installed solar capacity in Thailand complements the country’s goal to meet 20% of its total energy consumption with renewable sources by 2022.

Once operational, the project that will create more than 200 local jobs in Thailand for the facility’s development, installation and maintenance, is estimated to mitigate 32,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

Suntech chief commercial officer Andrew Beebe said that this is another strong step forward with Bangchak and Solartron, as they work together to drive the emerging solar industry in Thailand and Southeast Asia.

“With steady economic growth, burgeoning electricity demands, and plenty of excellent sunlight, countries throughout the region stand to benefit both economically and environmentally by harnessing nature’s most abundant energy resource,” Beebe said.