Fears allayed over April power outage

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BANGKOK, Feb 28 – PTT, Thailand’s state-owned  oil and gas company, will boost its domestic production of natural gas and double the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in preparation for the expected power outage during the maintenance of a gas platform in Myanmar April 5-14, a leading Thai engineer said today.

Council of Engineers president Kamol Takkabutr reduced the Thai public’s of power shortage during the suspension of natural gas supply from the Myanmar’s Yanada platform.

Assuring that Thailand will not be hit by power shortage, he said the government has negotiated with Laos and Myanmar to purchase additional power supply as well as increased the domestic production of hydro electricity.

Panu Suthirat, PTT vice president for natural gas supply, said the company has reserved oil to sufficiently substitute natural gas during the April 5-14 outage while import of LNG, normally at 70,000 tonnes per month will double in April to ensure adequate energy supply for electricity generating.

Mr Kamol said that he supported Energy Minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisarn’s proposal to reduce natural gas for electricity production from 70 per cent to 45 per cent, and resort to other means such as coal- and hydro-powered electricity

He disagreed however with suspending a nuclear power plant project which, according to a public opinion survey, is supported by 60 per cent of the people while 20 per cent objected to the construction of a nuclear power plant in their provinces.

The International Atomic Energy Agency was aware of the nuclear power plant project and instructed Thailand to map out strategy to foster understanding among the people, he said.