Industrial estates urged to prepare for power outage

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BANGKOK, FEB 27 – Thailand’s 37 industrial estates, consuming combined energy of 3,700 megawatts, may have to adjust their manufacturing schedules during the April 5-14 power outage, according to a senior official.

Verapong Chaiperm, governor of the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT), said the rescheduling will reduce power consumption during peak hours particularly on April 5, 8, 9 and 10 when electricity usage will be quite high.

Operators were told that it would help if some of them swap April 5 as a holiday – the first day of the energy outage due to maintenance at the Yanada natural gas platform in Myanmar.

The Yanada platform supplies 40 per cent of the total natural gas used for energy production in Thailand. The remaining 60 per cent is from the Gulf of Thailand.

He said the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) will submit power-saving measures to IEAT today.

Mr Verapong said the Bangchan industrial estate where 70 food-processing plants are located is highly prone to a brownout which will affect production.

Thailand’s three power generating agencies – EGAT, Metropolitan Electricity Authority and Provincial Electricity Authority – gave assurances that the situation will be manageable.

Thana Putarungsi, EGAT deputy governor, told industrialists that a brownout is possible, but not a blackout.

However, he called on industrialists to boost their production prior to the power crisis so that they have extra stocks and use less electricity in April.