Monday, November 5, 2007

Thailand may face electricity shortage

Pattaya, - Protests at the planned construction sites of several new electrical power generating plants in Thailand may cause the country to experience an electricity shortage as the demand the power is rising 1,400-1,600 MW annually, said outgoing Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) governor Kraisri Karnasutra on Sunday.

Mr. Kraisri, who will retire from his post on November 12, said at his farewell party that Thailand will encounter an electricity shortage without added generation plants being built.

Thailand has agreed to buy 7,000 MW of electricity from Laos and also has agreed in principle buying power from Cambodia, Myanmar, China and Malaysia.

However, Mr. Kraisri said the purchase agreements could stall if there is an international dispute between Thailand and the contracted countries. Most importantly, new employment will not be seen if construction of a new electricity plant does not proceed due to protests, while Thailand will have to pay money to its neighbouring countries nonetheless.

Construction of electricity plants in remote areas also causes loss of electricity, he said, due to losses encountered in long distance power transmission.

"Presently, coal, nuclear and natural gas-powered electricity plants are considered clean fuel, Mr. Kraisri said, "And the Energy Ministry has established a special fund to develop the areas around electricity plants.

"These areas will gain while the public will have sufficient electricity for use." (TNA)

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