EGAT promises “ZERO COVID” at all power plants to maintain stability during crisis
published : 27 May 2020 at 14:10
Since establishment, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) always keeps its promise to ensure electricity security and maintain stable 24-hour production supervised by skilled and experienced personnel.
Mr. Nutthavutthi Chamchang, Deputy Governor – Generation explained that, “During the outbreak of COVID-19, infections among employees involved in operating the power plants are impermissible as they are the heart of the production work.”
EGAT introduced special measures, “ZERO COVID” for working in power plants and dams to ensure the stability of the electrical system in three important areas:
1. Assign the power plant to be a safe zone where operators at every plant must stay within the safe zone 24 hours a day during the pandemic period for over two months, according to the preventive measures due to the outbreak of COVID-19. If one person gets infected, it would mean quarantine for at least ten other staff, the control room would have to be closed, and the electricity security operation would be halted.
2. Set up a backup control room at every power plant in case any operator is found infected with COVID-19 and the main control then needs sanitising. The backup control room will ensure uninterrupted power plant operation.
3. Assign backup operators for replacement duties in the case that the main operators are at risk and must be isolated.
Each day, a dozen staff involved in electricity generation will be in two places only. They are required to work in shifts of 8-12 hours in the control room and then go back to the accommodation in the vicinity of the power plant.
“This measure will continue until no new cases are found and the overall situation in the country is improved,” said Mr. Nutthavutthi.
It is true that these measures might put some strain on the workers. However, it is the sense of purpose and responsibility that keep EGAT employees going during this time of crisis.
Mr. Jeerayu Samgamlung, Mechanic Level 5 at Rajjaprabha Dam, revealed that, “Each staff member has to stay in the separated safe zone in the dam where visitors are prohibited to enter. We are responsible for controlling the electricity generation and taking care of various devices. Besides the main tasks, we also clean the area and water the plants during this time. No matter how much I miss my family, the duty of generating electricity comes first, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak. It is the responsibility of all of us.”
Mr. Kraisorn Siriteerathamrong, Head of Operation Section 1 at North Bangkok Power Plant in Nonthaburi said: “Now, the work is harder and the living conditions are not as comfortable, but
everyone is ready to fight and work to our full potential. There is no accommodation building at the North Bangkok Power Plant, so we transform unused rooms into temporary accommodation. Tents are used for the ten mechanics for both day and night shifts of 12 hours, up from the usual 8 hours.”
In addition to these measures, EGAT is involved in helping the medical staff such as donating 30 million baht to 14 hospitals to purchase medical equipment. EGAT engineers and technicians have been mobilised to produce useful devices, for example, 120 positive and negative pressure cabinets for 100 hospitals nationwide. EGAT has also collaborated with the
Ministry of Energy and public health agencies across the country to distribute alcohol sanitising gel to the public.
“Our main goal is to get through the COVID-19 situation with least damage while still carrying out our main duties and responsibilities of securing stable electricity production for all Thai citizens,” concluded Mr. Nutthavutthi.