April energy crunch won’t affect Eastern Seaboard, ERC says

Friday, 08 March 2013 From Issue Vol. XXI No. 10 By  Phasakorn Channgam

The Eastern Seaboard will not be affected by April’s looming energy crisis, with any blackouts only affecting the western section of the country, the Energy Regulatory Commission said.

At a Feb. 22 meeting at Pattaya’s Cholchan Resort, commission Chairman Direk Lavansiri said the April 5-14 closure of the Yadana offshore gas field in Myanmar is unlikely to cause power cuts anywhere, but if blackouts occur, they would not happen in the east.

Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Direk Lavansiri reassures the local businesses that the Eastern Seaboard will not be affected by April’s looming energy crisis.Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Direk Lavansiri reassures the local businesses that the Eastern Seaboard will not be affected by April’s looming energy crisis.

French oil and gas company Total plans to close the Yadana plants for annual maintenance, cutting the amount of natural gas supplied to the kingdom by 25 percent. Thailand gets most of the gas for its power plants from Myanmar and the shutdown will leave the kingdom with little or no gas reserves during its peak energy-demand season.

“This situation may cause the western region and nearby areas to experience the affects of electrical distribution in lower wattage for a period of time, but the eastern region will not experience any affects at all,” Direk said.

The ERC was meeting in Pattaya as part of its ongoing series of hearings on distribution of funds from its “Communities Surrounding Power Plants” reserve, which was set up to redevelop residential areas impacted by construction and operation of power plants.

Direk said 2.6 billion baht has been allocated for spending in 2013 and the eight hearings will determine what projects are constructed.

In 2012, the commission allocated 650 million baht for 1,068 projects in Chonburi. About a fourth of those focused on education, religion, local culture and tradition. The remainder of the money went toward projects focusing on lifestyle, health, and community development.

For 2013, Direk said, the commission already has received applications for 78 projects in Chonburi totaling 82 million baht.

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