Energy Ministry elaborates on energy plan during gas pipeline maintenance

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SONGKHLA, 8 July 2015 – Officials of the Ministry of Energy have visited Songkhla Province to outline the importance of energy conservation practices by the public to reduce energy usage during the closure of a major gas pipeline for maintenance, in order to prevent power outages.

An Inspector of the Ministry of Energy, Suchalee Sumamal, and the Songkhla Provincial Energy Official Suthichai Sukseesen, along with delegates from related agencies today visited Hat Yai Province to encourage the public to be sparing in energy consumption during the closure of the gas line for maintenance between 19th-23rd July 2015.

The Ministry Inspector said that the closure of the JDA-A18 gas pipeline that delivers natural gas from the co-development source between Thailand and Malaysia, will curtail the supply of 420 million cubic feet of natural gas each day. An immediate result of this is that the second Chana power plant will have to suspend its generation of 800 megawatt of electricity as the plant uses only natural gas as fuel.

He said that the Ministry of Energy is now preparing to prevent this situation causing a power shortage in the southern region by adopting the same plan as in previous years. Therefore many agencies already have a thorough understanding of the necessary procedures, and are experienced in avoiding a crisis situation.

In preparation, the first Chana power plant has been modified to be able to function on diesel in addition to natural gas, and the PTT has allocated reserve diesel and bunker oil to be used by the power plant, while the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) has adapted the electricity supply system to provide maximum preparedness.

On this matter, the PEA Area 3 Governor Amphon Fugthong disclosed that the electricity generation capacity of the southern region, linked with input from the central region will be maintained at 2,828 megawatt, which is expected to be sufficient for peak period usage in the area, between 6:30pm-10:30pm each day, when power use reaches approximately 2.350 megawatt.

He said that the PEA has established a support center to assist operations during the abnormal period of supply, to coordinate with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) which will be monitoring usage and controlling distribution in the southern region to accord with the designated plan. Meanwhile the public can call the 24-hour PEA Call Center 1129 for further information.

The Songkhla Provincial Energy Official, Suthichai Sukseesen said that the government and private agencies in the province have acknowledged the detailed plan of the Energy Ministry and believe that it will help reassure the public and entrepreneurs of the reliability of the electricity supply during the five day maintenance period, and not cause any disruption to daily domestic use or to the economy of the region.

He said however that the general public should also help conserve electricity by turning off lights, increasing air conditioner temperature, and unplugging power cables, while the industrial and business sector are asked to reduce their energy usage during the period 6:30pm-10:30pm.

Decreasing power usage over a period like this also reduces the cost of accessing electricity, making the monthly bills a little less, meaning such customers will have more money to spend in other ways, the Songkhla energy official said.