The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) expects to set aside its retained fund of Bt11.364 billion to subsidise electricity prices in the first four months of next year. In doing so, it hopes to sustain the base factor and fuel tariff (Ft) electricity surcharge for a fifth consecutive time.
Veeraphol Chirapraditkul, an ERC spokesman and member, said that of the ERC’s retained fund of Bt11.36 billion, about Bt8.475 billion is expected to be used to manage electricity costs from January to April and the remainder will be held over for the next period.
“The ERC has not yet assessed the outlook for electricity cost throughout 2019. This will be reviewed period by period,” Veeraphol said.
“Meanwhile, the costs in the periods of May-August and September-December tend to increase. The baht also remains a risk factor. For every Bt1 depreciation against the US dollar, this will increase the Ft electricity surcharge by Bt0.05-Bt0.06 per unit,” Veeraphol said.
The natural gas price for January-April 2019 is forecast to climb about Bt10 per million BTU from the earlier period (September-December 18).
In the period of January-April 2019, the natural gas price is expected to stay at Bt248.80 per million BTU and the crude price is estimated at US$64.85 per barrel. In the period of September-December 2018, the natural gas price is projected at Bt238.30 per million BTU and the crude price is anticipated at $57.62 per barrel.
Therefore, the fuel cost is expected to edge up Bt0.056 per unit (5.6 satang). The estimated cost excludes foreign exchange impacts which could see more baht depreciation.
In regard to the measure to promote purchase of renewable energy-based electricity under Adder and Feed-in Tariff (FiT) for the period of January-April 2019, the spending will be about Bt15 billion or by Bt0.25-Bt0.27 per unit.