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Power providers plead for Phuket to save electricity

PHUKET: People on the island need to prepare for possible power shortages for a month starting next Friday (June 13) when a gas production platform at the south end of the Gulf of Thailand, is closed for maintenance.

Wiparatana Nathalang

Friday 6 June 2014, 04:34PM

Central Festival Phuket: the island's top electricity user.
Central Festival Phuket: the island's top electricity user.

Gas from the platform fuels the Chana power station in Songkhla, which will be closed during the maintenance period.

Governor Maitri Inthusut on Wednesday (June 4) convened a meeting of all major power users on the island to ask them to help save electricity during the maintenance period, from next Friday until July 10.

Despite being one of Thailand’s smallest provinces in terms of area, Phuket is the second-biggest user of electricity in southern Thailand, after Songkhla.

Thanadol Sungthong, an engineer from the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) – which generates Thailand’s power – and Thanapong Pramote from the Provincial Electricity Authority – which distributes it – explained to The Phuket News that the aim is to reduce peak power use in the South by 250 MegaWatts (MW) – a reduction of about 11 per cent.

They pleaded for all major users – hotels, the fishing industry, universities and department stores to save electricity during those hours.

For security reasons, power saving measures will not be applied in the three troubled provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat, so the other 11 provinces have to make up for that usage, too, with savings.

A representative from Central Festival, which is the island’s biggest user of power, said, “We are going to save power by increasing the air-conditioning temperature between 6 and 10pm. We may close earlier during this period.”

A spokesperson from Vachira Phuket Hospital also pledged to cut power use. “We are going to prepare the chiller [for air cooling] and [the in-house] generator for these 28 days. We will pump water to our tanks only after 10pm.

“We will teach staff to be careful with power use, and will also teach patients in how to save electricity during [the peak time].”

Laguna, seventh-biggest power user, promised to reduce power use in its villas “by 50 per cent”.

For people at home, the Ministry of Energy has produced flyers and posters advising on how to use less electricity.

C and C Marine

These recommend four main points:

  • Turn off at least one light and try not to use air-conditioning between 6.30 and 10.30pm.

  • If you must use air-conditioning, raise the temperature to at least 26ºC. A one-degree increase can result in a 10 per cent saving.

  • Pull out plugs from all electrical appliances and equipment when they are not in use.

  • Save as much electricity as possible in other ways between 6:30 and 10:30pm.

Mr Thanatpong also said that people could save power by turning on fewer perimeter lights, and by turning off some lights for billboards or reducing their brightness. Anyone who has a generator, should use it during the peak hours.

The Phuket News suggests other ways to save power: Use gas for cooking, not electricity, or eat salads or other cold food in the evening.

  • Do not use washing machines during the peak hours.

  • If you have a dishwasher, turn it on only after 10pm. Do not use the drying cycle; let the dishes air-dry.

  • Shower instead of using a bath; if you use hot water for showering, reduce the temperature. 

The top 10 users of power in Phuket are: Central Festival; Jungceylon A; Phuket Airport; REQ Water, operators of the reverse osmosis desalination plant on the west coast of the island; Big C; Phuket FantaSea; Laguna Phuket; Bangkok Hospital Phuket; Eakkachai Distribution System (Tesco-Lotus); and Jungceylon B (Jungceylon’s bill is split).



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