Phuket Governor, Energy Office confirm no power rationing during gas field shutdown

PHUKET: The chief of the Phuket Energy Office and Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut have both confirmed there will be no enforced blackouts or power rationing in Phuket when a major gas field supply line goes offline next week.

Supply of natural gas from field A-18 in the Joint Development Area (JDA) between Thailand and Malaysia in the Gulf of Thailand will be disrupted from June 13 to July 10 for an upgrade (story here).

During the upgrade, the Chana Power Plant in Songkhla province, which contributes about 710MW per day to the grid serving Southern Thailand, will also be offline (story here).

“We will not cut off power supply during the maintenance,” Governor Maitri told the Phuket Gazette.

“However, we are asking everyone to be conservative with their power use. I have ordered government offices to slash their power consumption by 15 per cent.”

Phuket Energy Office Chief Wiroj Damkong concurred, saying that his office “could not allow” any enforced blackouts on the island.

“We will not cut power supply to Phuket as it is a tourist destination. We cannot have any enforced blackouts affecting tourism,” he said.

“However, I’d urge everyone to save energy, especially during the peak hours. The more power you save, the cheaper your bills will be.”

To promote power-saving habits while the upgrade is carried out, the Ministry of Energy is launching an online campaign via social media sites including Facebook and Twitter.

In Phuket, a team or promoters roamed Provincial Hall this morning, carrying the power-saving message to officials there with the Energy Office mascots Chalad leuak (“Smart Choice”) and Sangkom (“Social”) handing out leaflets full of advice of how to conserve electricity.

“Our first target is government offices. We want to encourage officials to save power,” said Mr Wiroj. “But we especially want residents and businesses to cut back on the power consumption between 6:30 and 10:30pm. This is when everyone is at home and using electricity.”

Mr Wiroj explained that three top ways of cutting down on household power bills were to 1) unplug appliances when they are not in use; 2) turn the heat up on the air conditioner by just one degree; and 3) turn off the light every time you leave the room.

— Chutharat Plerin

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