You will pay more for electricity soon

As natural gas price rises, electricity prices will rise to Singapore level. Meanwhile, neighbors Vietnam & Malaysia have head start with clean coal & nuclear.

Natural gas platform in the sea.

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ENERGY

Egat: Brace for higher power bills

Reliance on gas leaves imports as only option
1 Apr 2013

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) expects the electricity tariff will hit five baht per kilowatt-hour (unit), on a par with Singapore, in two years due to the rising price of natural gas.

Egat governor Sutat Patmasiriwat pointed to imports of costly liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a major reason for the projected 35 per cent increase in the power tariff from an average of 3.7 baht per unit at present, including 3.2 baht as a base factor and 52.04 satang for the fuel tariff.

Using gas from domestic sources costs three baht per unit for power generation, compared to 5.5 baht for imported LNG. However, production of local gas has peaked and will decline, paving the way for imported LNG to play a larger role in power production.

Mr Sutat said Malaysia and Vietnam both reduced their dependency on gas and promote clean coal and nuclear power, both of which can generate electricity more cheaply than gas. Although the two countries have plentiful gas supplies, each use gas for less than 40 per cent of power generation.

Thailand relies on gas for up to 70 per cent of power generation, up from 60 per cent a decade ago. 

Attempts to diversify fuels in power generation, from imported coal to nuclear power, have failed due mainly to protests from local communities and environmental activists.

The government plans to build 10 more electric train lines, and Egat estimates these will require 1,000 megawatts to operate, raising power demand.

Higher wages have also prompted labour-intensive industries to shift to machinery and robots, which will increase power consumption in the manufacturing sector.

Chen Namchaosiri, vice-chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, said an electricity tariff of five baht per unit will force small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to shut down their businesses or relocate to other countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia

Businesses have overcome severe floods and the minimum wage hike, but a higher power tariff may just be too much, said Mr Chen

He doubted if the government really wants greater use of automation if it is letting power costs exceed those of its neighbours.

Energy Minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisal said the fuel tariff will be increased by 50 satang each year in line with gas prices, which may lower the confidence of foreign investors in Thailand's competitiveness.

He said the ministry will accelerate talks with neighbouring countries to buy more electricity to cut dependence on gas, lest electricity costs double.

The ministry also plans to provide accurate information to the public about clean coal technology and Thailand's need to diversify fuels used for power generation.

(Source: Bangkok Post, ENERGY, Egat: Brace for higher power bills, Reliance on gas leaves imports as only option, 1 Apr 2013, link)

 
Electricity Shortage Vocabulary

natural gas  แก๊ซธรรมชาติ
liquefied natural gas (LNG)

power - energy in the form of electricity produced in large quantities and used to operate lights, machines, and heating
power bills

brace - 1. to get ready for something unpleasant เตรียม  เตรียมใจ 2. to make your body, or a part of it, stiff and stronger in order to support yourself or to do something that needs a lot of physical effort ยึดให้แน่น

Egat: Brace for higher power bills

dependence - cannot do without, need การพึ่งพาอาศัย
dependence on gas
cut dependence on gas

reliance - Same as "dependence"
reliance on gas
cut reliance on gas

option - choice ตัวเลือก  ทางเลือก
left as the only option
reliance on gas leaves imports as only option

Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat)

electricity
tariff - the official price of electricity as set by the government or electricity company

kilowatt-hour - the unit that electricity is measured in (for billing purposes and metering and measuring)
five baht per kilowatt-hour (unit)

on par with -
at the same level as
on par with Singapore

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) expects the electricity tariff will hit five baht per kilowatt-hour (unit), on a par with Singapore, in two years due to the rising price of natural gas.

projected - expected, forecast; what people believe it will in the future
the projected 35 per cent increase

reason - an explanation of an event, why an event happened เหตุ ; เหตุผล ; สาเหตุ
a major reason for the projected 35 per cent increase

factor - a fact or situation which influences the result of something ปัจจัย
base factor

fuel - to make something increase or become worse ทำใ้ห้รุนแรงขึ้น
fuel tariff

Egat governor Sutat Patmasiriwat pointed to imports of costly liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a major reason for the projected 35 per cent increase in the power tariff from an average of 3.7 baht per unit at present, including 3.2 baht as a base factor and 52.04 satang for the fuel tariff.

domestic - within the country  ภายในประเทศ
domestic sources
gas from domestic sources

generate (verb) - to produce ก่อให้เกิด  create สร้าง กระตุ้นให้เิกิด
generate power

generate electricity
it can generate electricity more cheaply than gas.

generation (noun)
power generation

local - in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about ท้องถิ่น
local gas
production of local gas 

peaked - reached its highest level
production of local gas has peaked and will decline

role - function or position บทบาท
play a role in

will
play a larger role in
imported LNG will play a larger role in power production.

paving the way for - making a good situation for something to happen
production of local gas has peaked and will decline, paving the way for imported LNG to play a larger role in power production.

Using gas from domestic sources costs three baht per unit for power generation, compared to 5.5 baht for imported LNG. However, production of local gas has peaked and will decline, paving the way for imported LNG to play a larger role in power production.

Mr Sutat said Malaysia and Vietnam both reduced their dependency on gas and promote clean coal and nuclear power, both of which can generate electricity more cheaply than gas.

plentiful - lots available
plentiful gas supplies

Although the two countries have plentiful gas supplies, each use gas for less than 40 per cent of power generation.

decade - a period of ten years ทศวรรษ, ระยะเวลา 10 ปี
Thailand relies on gas for up to 70 per cent of power generation, up from 60 per cent a decade ago. 

diversify - add variety to that you already have ทำให้หลากหลาย
diversify fuels in power generation

protests - meetings, sometimes forceful or violent, or public statements by people who strongly disagree with something ชุมนุมประท้วง
protests from local communities and environmental activists

Attempts to diversify fuels in power generation, from imported coal to nuclear power, have failed due mainly to protests from local communities and environmental activists.

demand - the need and desire to buy goods and services by households and businesses ความต้องการ
power demand
this will raise power demand

estimates - guesses of what the size, value, amount, cost, etc. of something might be การประมาณค่า
The government plans to build 10 more electric train lines, and Egat estimates these will require 1,000 megawatts to operate, raising power demand.

wages - the amount of money earned per hour by a worker
higher wages

intensive - involving a lot of effort, energy, or attention
labour-intensive industries

shift - to change
shift to machinery and robots

sector - a part of a country's economy or business activity ภาคเศรษฐกิจของประเทศ (See Wikipedia)
manufacturing sector.

consumption - using, eating or drinking something การบริโภค
will increase power consumption in the manufacturing sector.

Higher wages have also prompted labour-intensive industries to shift to machinery and robots, which will increase power consumption in the manufacturing sector.

enterprises - companies
small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

relocate - move to another location ย้ายไปตั้งอีกที่หนึ่ง
relocate businesses to other countries

shut down
- close
shut down a business -
close a business; stop operations 

Chen Namchaosiri, vice-chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, said an electricity tariff of five baht per unit will force small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to shut down their businesses or relocate to other countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia

severe - very serious and worrying ที่รุนแรง ที่น่าเป็นห่วง
severe floods

wage
- an amount of money that you earn for working, usually according to how many hours or days you work each week or month ค่าจ้าง
minimum wage hike

overcome - solve a problem or put and end to a difficulty ต่อสู้อุปสรรคจนสำเร็จสำมารถดำเนินการต่อไปได้
overcome severe floods and the minimum wage hike

may just be too much

Businesses have overcome severe floods and the minimum wage hike, but a higher power tariff may just be too much, said Mr Chen

automation - machines and robots doing the work of humans
greater use of automation

exceed - to be more than something; to go beyond a limit เกินกว่าที่กำหนด เกินปริมาณ
letting power costs exceed those of its neighbours.

doubted - believing that something may not be true
greater use of automation if it is letting power costs exceed those of its neighbours.

He doubted if the government really wants greater use of automation if it is letting power costs exceed those of its neighbours.

in line
with - following
the fuel tariff will be increased by 50 satang each year in line with gas prices

confidence - trusting and believing in something ความมั่นใจ   ความเชื่อมั่น
the confidence of foreign investors 

competitiveness - how well a business can do compared to other firms (does it have lower price or higher quality?) การแข่งขัน
Thailand's competitiveness.

Energy Minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisal said the fuel tariff will be increased by 50 satang each year in line with gas prices, which may lower the confidence of foreign investors in Thailand's competitiveness.

accelerate - make go faster and faster , at an increasing rate; to cause to happen more quickly เร่ง
talks - negotiations, formal discussions of problems between different sides in a conflict in order to solve the problem

accelerate
talks
talks with neighbouring countries

double - to become twice as big, twice as much or twice as many เพิ่มเป็นสองเท่า
costs double
cut dependence on gas, lest electricity costs double

ministry - a government department dealing with an area of activity กระทรวง

He said the ministry will accelerate talks with neighbouring countries to buy more electricity to cut dependence on gas, lest electricity costs double.

accurate
- correct, exact and without any mistakes ถูกต้อง, แม่นยำ
accurate information

provide
- to give someone something that they want or need
provide accurate information

The ministry also plans to provide accurate information to the public about clean coal technology and Thailand's need to diversify fuels used for power generation.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Online Writer