Power to the Phuket people

PHUKET: The official launch of the Koh Kaew transformer station on Friday marked a much needed power boost, said Phuket Vice Governor Somkiet Sungkaosuthirak at the opening ceremony.

The station opened by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) is looking to almost double the megawatts the Phuket power system is currently handling, EGAT director Sutad Pattamasiriwat announced.

“The main objective is to enhance the electrical transfer capacity from the fuel-oil power generating plant in Nua Klong, Krabi, to Phuket in order to meet the increased demand on the island,” said Mr Sutad.

“That power facility will be able to handle 600 megawatts (MW). Currently, the limit in Phuket is 350 MW,” he added.

EGAT spent 1.6 billion baht on upgrades and new infrastructure, which included the installation of a 230 kilovolt (kV) mains cable supply in Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi; two new 230/115kV transformer stations in Phuket and Phang Nga; and a 230kV switching station in Krabi, explained Mr Sutad.

“EGAT used to supply electricity to Phuket from Phang Nga via 98km of 115kV cable. That voltage is not enough to provide a stable electricity supply in Phuket and Phang Nga, hence the frequent blackouts,” he said.

Though the new transformers are expected help meet the increased electricity-supply demands of Phuket and to significantly reduce the frequency of blackouts on the island, a third high-voltage transformer station is already in the works.

The third station in Phuket will cost less than 500 million baht to build, and when completed should keep up with Phuket’s demand for electricity for about five to 10 years, Mr Sutad explained.

“EGAT plans to continually develop the high-voltage electricity system in Phuket. Our next plan is to connect the 500kV electricity supply from Surat Thani to Phuket. After that, blackouts in Phuket should be a thing of the past as the system we’ll be using will be of a really high standard,” he added.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

Phuket News
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