Thailand: Record-high electricity price rise approved

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has approved an 18% rise in the price of electricity for the September-December quarter, to a record-high 4.72 baht per kilowatt hour (unit).

The ERC announced the new rate on its Facebook page on Monday.

The increase comes from the fuel tariff (FT) component in the electricity tariff increasing by 0.6866 baht per KWh to 0.9343 baht per KWh on the rising price of imported liquefied natural gas (LNG), used for 60% of the country’s power generation.

LNG imports have increased because of the declining production of cheaper domestic gas from the off-shore Erawan gas block in the Gulf of Thailand.

Imported LNG from the Spot market is at US$ 25-50 per metric million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD), compared with the Gulf of Thailand’s US$6-7 per MMSCFD.

Since the fourth quarter last year, when the global economy began recovering from the eased Covid lockdown measures, demand for every kind of energy has risen sharply. The Russia-Ukraine conflict was another factor in the rise, the announcement said.

The ERC earlier planned to announce the new electricity fee on Aug 1 but it was reported that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha delayed the announcement so officials could find ways to lessen its impact on the poor.

The Energy Ministry was still working out such measures, a source said.

The present charge is 4.00 baht per unit. It had broken a previous record-high 3.96 baht per unit in 2014, when the global oil price surged to more than UScopy10 a barrel.