Thailand’s energy authorities are preparing to make an electricity saving campaign a mandate for households and businesses as they struggle to deal with the high prices of liquefied natural gas (LNG) which may keep soaring in the winter, putting more financial burden on national power generation, reported the Bangkok Post.
Illustrative image. (Photo: atalian.co.th)
Thai Ministry of Energy said some legal measures were adopted during the November 7 meeting of the National Energy Policy Council (NEPC) chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. At the meeting, the NEPC expressed concern about high energy prices, driven by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the baht’s depreciation and higher energy demand in Europe during the cold season.
This year, Thailand has to import more LNG due to a decrease in natural gas from domestic sources and this is also a reason for higher electricity bills. An official from Thai Ministry of Energy said that if LNG prices, currently at 26-29 USD per metric million British thermal unit (MMBTU), rise to 50 USD per MMBTU and remain at this level for more than two weeks, the new mandate on energy saving will be enforced.
Previously, the Thai Government has instructed households and businesses to implement energy saving.
If the rule is reinstated, shopping malls and petrol stations may be told to adjust opening hours. Unnecessary lighting in public areas may need to be turned off while buildings may need to adjust air conditioners to keep the room temperature at 27 degrees Celsius.
To import less LNG, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) plans to delay decommissioning some coal-fired power plants and buy more electricity from hydropower plants in Laos, while the Petroleum Authority of Thailand is expected to decrease its LNG imports from 18 to eight shipments.