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Electricity shocks coming?

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Electricity bills here in Thailand are likely to increase unless a major pipeline leak can be repaired soon. 


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Pipeline leak will drive up power bills, says Egat

Norkhun: Leak is an emergency

A leak in a pipeline of Thailand's largest energy conglomerate, PTT Plc, in the Gulf of Thailand will cut gas supplies and affect power generation, raising the prospect of higher electricity bills.

The Energy Ministry has called a meeting of fuel executives today to discuss how to handle the situation.

Ministry permanent secretary Norkhun Sitthipong said gas leaks of such a magnitude came under the ministry's emergency agenda.

The leak in the submerged pipeline was detected on Saturday evening. It was located about 325km from the eastern province of Rayong at a junction where the main 34-inch diameter pipe and a 24-inch diameter pipe were connected, PTT said yesterday. A remotely operated vehicle was sent to the site to monitor the situation and allow engineers to estimate the time needed for repairs.

PTT immediately shut down gas transmission through the main pipeline, cutting off about 600 million cubic feet per day of gas to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand and PTT's gas separation plants, said PTT executive vice-president of natural gas operations Wichai Pornkeratiwat.

He said PTT had already begun seeking 30 million litres of bunker oil for power plants and procuring liquefied natural gas to make up the shortfall.

Mr Wichai claimed the gas leak would not affect the marine ecosystem or the environment, as natural gas was lighter than air, insoluble in water and in an unadulterated form.

The use of bunker oil will cost substantially more than the natural gas, raising fears that power bills will rise.

Egat governor Suthat Pattamasiriwat conceded electricity was likely to cost more as a result.

The price would return to normal once PTT had finished repairs to the pipeline. The gas leak might cut power generation by about 3,000 megawatts at four or five power plants, he said.

About 70% of Egat's power generation is fuelled by natural gas.

Manoon Siriwan, an energy consultant and former executive of Bangchak Petroleum, said the scale of the impact on electricity generation would depend on the time it took to repair the leak.

If PTT manages to seal the leak within two weeks, the impact would be minimal, he said, but if it took more than a month, the impact could be considerable.

Assessments are continuing.

PTT maps show the firm's gas pipeline network:

leak – (of a liquid or gas) flowing out of a hole or crack การรั่วไหล
pipeline – a series of pipes that are usually underground and are used for carrying oil, gas, etc. over long distances ท่อส่งผ่านน้ำมันปิโตรเลียมหรือก๊าซธรรมชาติ
conglomerate – a large company formed by joining together different firms กลุ่มบริษัทในเครือ
supplies – an amount of something that is provided or available to be used  ปริมาณที่มีอยู่, จำนวนที่มีอยู่
generation – production การก่อให้เกิด
prospect – the possibility that something will happen  โอกา , การคาดการณ์
situation – all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place  สถานการณ์
permanent – happening or existing for a long time or for all time in the future ถาวร  
permanent secretary – a government official, not a political appointee, in charge of a ministry ปลัดกระทรวง
magnitude – size or strength  ขนาดหรือ ความรุนแรง
emergency – an unexpected situation involving danger in which immediate action is necessary เหตุฉุกเฉิน
agenda – a list of things to be discussed กำหนดการ, วาระ
submerged – under water  อยู่ใต้น้ำ
detect – to notice, to discover or find out พบได้, สังเกต
located – where something is ตั้งอยู่
junction – a place where two or more cables, pipes, rivers or other things meet or are joined  จุดเชื่อมต่อ, ชุมทาง
diameter – the length of a straight line that crosses a circle through the centre เส้นผ่านศูนย์กลาง
remote - far away in distance ห่างไกล
remotely operated – controlled from a distance
site – a place where something happens or happened สถานที่เกิดเหตุ
monitor – to regularly check something or watch someone in order to find out what is happening  ตรวจสอบ ตรวจตรา
estimate – to say what you think an amount or value is or will be, either by using available information or by guessing คาดคะเน
repairs – the process of fixing something that is broken or damaged การซ่อมบำรุง
immediately – happening right after something else with no delay; right away ทันที
transmission – the act or process of passing something from one place, person or thing to another การส่งผ่าน,การส่งต่อ
plant – a factory that produces power or processes chemicals, etc. โรงงาน
bunker oil – oil used on ships, oil used in furnaces  น้ำมันเตา
procure – to buy supplies or equipment for a government department or company จัดซื้อวัสดุ เครื่องมือสำหรับบริษัท หรือหน่วยงานของรัฐ
liquefied – caused to become a liquid, in this case, from a gas (แก๊สปิโตรเลียมเหลว)
shortfall – an amount which is less than the level that was expected or needed จำนวนที่ขาดไป, ปริมาณที่ขาดไป
marine – relating to the sea and creatures that live in it เกี่ยวกับทะเล
ecosystem – all the plants and animals in a particular area, considered as a system with parts that depend on one another ระบบที่เกิดจากความสัมพันธ์ระหว่างสิ่งมีชีวิตและสิ่งแวดล้อม
environment – the place in which people live and work, including all the physical conditions that affect them สภาพแวดล้อม, สิ่งแวดล้อม
insoluble – that does not dissolve in a liquid ไม่ละลาย
unadulterated – not mixed with other substances; not adulterated บริสุทธิ์
form – the particular way something is, seems, looks or is presented; a type or variety of something  รูปแบบ, รูปทรง
substantial – large in size, value or importance มากมาย, ยิ่งใหญ่, สำคัญ
concede – to admit that something is true ยอมรับว่าถูก
fuel – to supply something with material that can be burnt to produce heat or power   เติมน้ำมันเชื้อเพลิง
consultant – a person who knows a lot about a particular subject and is employed to give advice about it to other people ผู้ให้คำปรึกษา
scale – the size or extent of something, especially when compared with something else ขนาด, ระดับ
impact – an effect or influence  ผลกระทบ
seal – to close a container tightly or fill a crack, etc, especially so that air, liquid, etc. cannot get in or out ปิด
minimal – very small in amount น้อยที่สุด, น้อยมาก
considerable – large in size, amount, or degree ค่อนข้างมาก
assessment – a judgment or opinion การประเมิน

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