Activists demand to know if electricity prices will surge

A group of activists, led by Vichai Kavichai, yesterday demanded to know whether the price of electricity will rise due to gas-field maintenance in Myanmar.

The group urged the Energy Regulatory Commission to identify officials responsible for potentially rising electricity costs following the gas supply suspension from the Yadana gas field next month.

They submitted a letter to Prated Srichomphu, director of the ERC's Rights Protection Department, asking the commission to find those responsible for possible increases in the fuel adjustment tariff, or FT charge, which will spill over into power bills. They asked Mr Prated to disclose all information regarding the FT calculation.

The group urged the commission to come up with explanations for five issues within 15 days.

Those issues are whether the FT rate will be increased after the gas-field shutdown; the reasons behind the gas supplier's decision to halt supplying natural gas to Thailand; details of the natural gas purchase contract; whether PTT Exploration and Production Plc, which is a partner in the gas field, will be responsible for the rising production costs of electricity generation during the suspension of natural gas supply to Thailand; and details of the FT formula calculation.

After receiving the letter, Mr Prated said the ERC would explain the issues in writing and provide the answers to the activists.

Myanmar gas accounts for a quarter of gas consumption in Thailand.

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Writer: Phanida Wonganan
Position: Reporter