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Phuket’s power hungry to join energy-saving dress rehearsal

Legacy Phuket Gazette




PHUKET: Some of Phuket’s largest energy consumers will take part in a power-saving exercise this Saturday in preparation for the nearly month-long period during which a major gas field will go offline for upgrades.

Though Phuket has been promised no enforced blackouts or power rationing, Phuket Energy Office Chief Wiroj Damkong has called for energy saving during the June 13 to July 10 upgrade (story here).

“During the exercise, we’re aiming to save 250MW during the peak energy-use hours, between 6:30pm and 10:30pm,” said Pornchai Patiparnprechavut, Deputy Secretary General of the Office of the Energy Regulatory Commission (OERC).

About 100 businesses and households in the South have agreed to participate in the exercise, Mr Pornchai said.

“Our target is 250MW, but if we save just 170MW, that will be fine,” he said.

Some of Phuket’s biggest energy users described how they would cut back during the exercise.

The island’s largest user, Central Festival shopping mall, plans to turn up the temperature on the mall’s air conditioning by one degree.

Increasing air conditioner temperatures by a single degree is one of the top three ways to reduce power bills, Mr Wiroj explained to the Phuket Gazette (story here).

“We will also shut down one of the five chillers in our air conditioning system and clean all of them. That will help them run more efficiently,” said Pornchai Dethaew, head engineer at Central Festival.

Big C will shut down two of their chillers, one at 6pm and another at 7pm.

“During the peak hours, we will turn off about half of our lights – only those that are absolutely necessary will be left on,” said Wichet Tirattanaprakom, maintenance manager of Big C.

To save energy, Vachira Phuket Hospital plans to use their generators more during the peak hours, said Chaiyut Thongreem, the hospital’s chief engineer.

“That will reduce the amount of energy we use and give us a chance to make sure the generators are working well too,” Mr Chaiyut said.

Though Phuket is not expected to experience outages during the upgrade, other areas may see their power cut back, said Thanadol Sungthong, an engineer with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT).

“We are storing fuel as a backup for the South during the upgrade, but if needed we may have to cut power in other areas,” Mr Thanadol said.

“Even though we have an extra fuel supply, we need to save energy to prevent unexpected blackouts,” he added.

“If everyone helps save energy we won’t have any problems,” Mr Pornchai concluded.

— Chutharat Plerin


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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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