Reduced power in South concerns officials

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BANGKOK, June 9 — Concerned electrical power officials are preparing to launch another campaign this week, urging southern residents to lower their electricity use during peak hours for fear a power blackout in the region could be unavoidable as natural gas delivery from the Thailand-Malaysia Joint Development Area (JDA) A18 block needs to be repaired. 

An ongoing campaign urging people in the South to lower power consumption during peak hours from 6.30pm to 10.30pm daily failed to affect actual use, officials said.

Power consumption during the peak hour at 7.37pm on Saturday was 2,291 megawatts in the South, they said.

The two power producing agencies — the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) and the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) — said they were still unprepared, causing the Energy Ministry to worry about a possible blackout in the region.

The Chana power plant in Songkhla province which receives natural gas from the Thailand-Malaysia JDA will be closed for 28 days starting Friday for major maintenance at natural gas fields in the Thailand-Malaysia JDA between June 13 and July 10.

Samerjai Suksumek, director general of the Thai Energy Ministry’s Energy Policy and Planning Office, said 710 megawatts of power will be wiped out from total production during power plant maintenance.

Only 2,300 megawatts will be left for use in the South during maintenance, which is quite worrisome, Mr Samerjai added.