10% cut in plant's power use sought
The Industry Ministry will seek cooperation from factories throughout the Kingdom by asking them to reduce their electricity consumption by 10 per cent this year, permanent secretary Witoon Simachoked said yesterday.
Some 70,000 manuals on energy-saving practices will be delivered to plants by the middle of next month, ahead of the halt in Myanmar's natural-gas deliveries to the Kingdom between April 5 and 14.
Bang Chan Industrial Estate is identified as facing the highest risk of an electricity "brown-out" during the delivery-suspension period.
This forms part of the government's strategy for tackling the power crisis caused by the Yadana gas field's temporary shutdown in April.
Thailand's roughly 70,000 factories consume about 12,000 megawatts of electricity. The 4,000 plants located in industrial estates use the bulk, at 8,300MW.
If all factories cooperated in the power-saving project, the country would save at least 1,000MW.
"Any factories giving their strong cooperation in the energy-saving project will be ranked by the ministry with good grades. The Industrial Works Department will analyse the factories into different grades based on their operational practice, which follows a set of regulations set by the department," he added.
Grade A will be awarded to factories that have strictly complied with the regulations, and Grade B to those that have done so to a satisfactory level. Grades C and D will be for those requiring different degrees of improvement.
Grade A and B plants will receive an inside track from the department when it comes to renewing business-operation licences and exemption from licensing fees.
The national energy regulator will ask department stores nationwide to promote energy-saving, with the target of saving a combined 300MW.
They will be invited to join the campaign next week, which will ask them to alternately turn off power for one hour at noon on April 5.
Meanwhile, Energy Minister Pongsak Ruktapongpisal yesterday said the 2013 Power Development Plan would eventually trim the country's heavy dependence on natural gas to 45 per cent from the current 70 per cent, and would boost the share of clean coal in power generation to 20 per cent from 18.8 per cent.