Agencies plan for peak heat
The country's three electricity-generating authorities have announced that they have put contingency measures and backup plans in place to cope with possible power shortages prior to and during the Songkran holiday break next week, which marks the height of the hot season and sees power usage peak.
Myanmar will reduce the supply of gas available for use by Thai electricity producers from today until April 14. To cope with any resulting power shortages, the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) has readied an extra supply of petrol for generators, prepared repair vehicles and set up ad-hoc centres to deal with power-related emergencies, including possible "brownouts" - sudden drops in the power supply - in the capital and adjacent provinces, said PEA chief Namchai Lorwatthanatrakool.
A public relations campaign is also underway to encourage household users to reduce power use from today till April 14. The measures focus on tourist-frequented provinces and cities like Phuket, Chiang Mai and Chon Buri's Pattaya.
The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand said the projected total use of electricity for today had increased by 300 megawatts, from the previous 26,300MW. Egat Governor Sutas Patamasiriwat expressed hope that there would not be blackouts or brownouts today, when the temperature is expected to peak, thanks largely to a promise by private businesses that they would keep their power consumption low.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Electricity Authority is speeding up maintenance work on the electricity distribution system prior to the four-day Songkran holiday break from April 13-16.
Kudatara Nagaviroj, director of corporate affairs, Big C Supercenter, said the company had already prepared a business continuity plan for power outages. All Big C hypermarkets have back-up diesel generators that can supply sufficient power.
Salinla Seehaphan, corporate affairs director, Tesco Lotus, said that the company would continue to conserve power in April.