The Ministry of Energy has asked for cooperation from the private sector to reduce electricity use from 5 to 14 April 2013, when Myanmar temporarily suspends its natural gas supply to Thailand for maintenance work.
The Cabinet, during its meeting on 26 March 2013, acknowledged a report on preparations for minimizing impacts from a possible electricity shortage during the gas-suspension period.
According to the report, the Ministry of Energy has received good cooperation from the Federation of Thai Industries and the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand in reducing power consumption. Members of the Federation of Thai Industries agreed to reduce electricity use by 408 megawatts during the period. The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand reported that its members would cut power consumption by 83 megawatts.
When combined with an electricity cut of 56 megawatts from four large industrial plants, namely Thai Asahi Glass Factory, PTO Cement Mixer, and two Siam City Cement plants, power consumption by the private sector will drop by 547 megawatts.
Regarding the campaign for energy saving, the Ministry of Energy told the Cabinet that it had worked out a plan to raise awareness about energy conservation for three periods: before, during, and after the emergency situation. A media plan has also been mapped out in cooperation with relevant agencies, so that the general public would be provided with useful information about energy saving. The Ministry of Energy will launch activities as part of the campaign at Government House on 4 April 2013, with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra presiding over the launching ceremony.
As for the reduction of electricity use in the public sector, the Cabinet has instructed relevant agencies to monitor the reduction in electricity consumption in various government offices. The measure will set a good example for the general public.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Energy has prepared bunker oil and diesel to replace natural gas for electricity generation during the temporary disruption of the natural gas supply from Myanmar. Both bunker oil and diesel have been sent to power plants under the supervision of the Electricity Authority of Thailand and large private power plants. Small power producers have been asked to increase their electricity generation by 110 megawatts, as well.
The report indicated that preparations for the gas-suspension period would lead to an increase in Thailand’s electricity reserves to 1,424 megawatts.
At the same meeting, the Cabinet also approved the development of power transmission systems in the northeastern provinces of Ubon Ratchathani, Yasothon, and Amnat Charoen, in preparation for the purchase of hydropower from Lao PDR, with a combined investment fund of 7.3 billion baht.
The project will help diversify Thailand’s energy sources and reduce its heavy dependence on natural gas for electricity generation in the future.