All-time high power tariff expected

All-time high power tariff expected

Workers install solar panels on the roof of the Thammasat University Hospital in 2018 to cut its power bills. (Photo: Pattanapong Hirunard)
Workers install solar panels on the roof of the Thammasat University Hospital in 2018 to cut its power bills. (Photo: Pattanapong Hirunard)

The cost of electricity is likely to rise to an all-time high rate of 4.72 baht per unit in the last four months of this year.

A source in the Energy Regulatory Commission said on Wednesday the commission resolved to raise the electricity fee from 4.00 to 4.72 baht per kilowatt-hour (unit) in the September-December period.

The commission would announce the new rate next Monday, the source said.

The new rate will include a fuel tariff of 0.93 baht per unit, up by 0.67 baht per unit.

With the planned increase, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) would continue to subsidise the electricity fee to help people. The Egat’s debt resulting from the subsidy was expected to rise to 109.67 billion baht by the end of next month, the source said.

The hike in the power tariff, which is made up of a base tariff and a fuel tariff (Ft), results mainly from a need to import more liquefied natural gas (LNG), which is costly but currently serves as a key fuel for electricity generation.

The base tariff refers to the cost of power plants and distribution systems, while the Ft is mainly determined by fuel costs, which are increasing as the Russia-Ukraine war continues.

The Ft is usually adjusted every four months. The latest adjustment was made for the May-August period, with the Ft rising by 0.47 baht per unit, resulting in a power tariff of 4 baht per unit.

The Egat agreed earlier to spend 80 billion baht, or 0.24 baht per unit, to subsidise the Ft rate between May and August.

Before the war, the LNG price in the spot market stood at US$10 per metric million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD).

The price later increased to $20-30 per MMSCFD, compared with a domestic gas price of less than $10 per MMSCFD in the Gulf of Thailand.

Gas makes up 60% of the fuel used to generate electricity in Thailand.

A decline in gas supplies from domestic sources in the Gulf of Thailand led authorities to import more LNG.

The proportion of LNG in the country’s total gas supply has risen to 40%, up from 20%, while gas from domestic sources fell from 64% to 40%.

The remaining gas is imported from Myanmar.

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