The Nation



Energy Ministry promises zero outages

The Energy Ministry has revised its target from its original schedule of zero outages in 2018 to no power blackouts at all by 2015 in the Map Ta Phut Complex. This is part of the ministry's efforts to boost electricity security in the region.

The ministry's permanent secretary, Suthep Liumsirijarern, mentioned this after meeting representatives of the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat), the Provincial Electricity Authority and PTT recently.

The 30,000-rai complex in Rayong is comprised of Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, Asia Industrial Estate, Padaeng Industrial Estate, Hemaraj Eastern Industrial Estate (Map Ta Phut) and RIL Industrial Estate.

Suthep has also asked Egat to speed up its plans to set up a power substation in the complex and improve the transmission-line system in the area. The Cabinet approved Bt12 billion for Egat to implement and improve the transmission-line system in the zone.

He has also told PTT to study the trend of electricity demands in the complex.

Suthep said a study on the impact of outages in the complex, which is a key contributor to the country's economic development, found that the complex experiences a blackout once a year on average, which causes loss of business opportunities worth about Bt4 billion per year.

Outages in small areas in the complex occur up to six or seven times per year, resulting in damage worth between Bt100 million and Bt500 million. Measures are

needed to solve these problems in order to shore up investor confidence.

"We are confident enough to guarantee that by 2015, the complex will not experience any blackouts. If this is successful, we'll use the complex as a model for other industrial zones that suffer from power blackouts," he said.

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