Koh Larn wind energy project under scrutiny for misuse of funds

Picture courtesy of Siamrath

The dream of harnessing wind energy to provide a sustainable power source for Koh Larn in Pattaya has sputtered to a halt, amidst allegations that the turbines stand broken and idle due to insufficient funds for repair.

The wind turbine project, situated on Khao Nom Sao mountain near Samae Beach, was conceived back in 2006. With a hefty budget of 95 million baht (US$ 2.6 million), the project was to usher in a new age of renewable energy for the 489 households on the island, thereby serving nearly 3,000 inhabitants.

The project, which was managed by Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi, held the promise of significant fuel cost savings and a boost to local tourism. The plan entailed the construction of a control building, a stingray-shaped building for tourists, and a total of 45 wind turbines.

The objective was to generate a capacity of 200 megawatts to power the island’s wastewater treatment and lighting systems, before eventually supplying households with electricity.

However, the high hopes were short-lived. Critics argue that just five years after the project’s completion in 2010, the wind turbines fell silent, no longer capable of generating power.

It was believed that the high costs of maintaining the ageing infrastructure led the city to purportedly abandon the project.

Despite the project’s failure to deliver on its original promise, some officials from Pattaya have attempted to rebrand the project as a picturesque tourist attraction. Critics, however, have refuted this, stating that it is a gross misuse of taxpayer funds, given that the project failed to fulfil its primary objectives.

They argue that the significant budget allocated could have been better invested in sectors such as education, healthcare, and improving the overall living standards of Koh Larn’s residents.

“A project that was meant to save the city from fuel costs and boost tourism ended up as a waste of resources,” reported The Pattaya News.

As the extent of the project’s failure becomes clear, it is reportedly under scrutiny from the National Anti-Corruption Commission, the Office of the Auditor General of Thailand, and the Office of Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission, who are investigating potential irregularities in the project.

Pattaya NewsThailand News


Top is a multifaceted news writer with a keen interest in real estate and travel. Top currently covers local Thai news at Thaiger. As a travel buff, Top blogs about his travels- around the world and Thailand- during his free time.

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