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The cost of electricity will rise about 14% to a minimum 5.37 baht per unit between January and April next year on rising fuel costs, the Electricity Regulatory Commission (ERC) warned on Monday.

The two other choices were 5.70 baht and 6.03 baht per kilowatt-hour (unit).The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand is subsidising the power charge. At the 5.37-baht rate, Egat would have 122.25 billion baht in losses by the end of April.

The 5.70 baht and 6.03 baht rates would leave Egat with a deficit of 101.88 billion baht and 81.50 billion baht respectively.Without a fee rise next year, the state enterprise would face a deficit of 170 billion baht,
Mr Khomgrich said.

The present rate is 4.72 baht per unit, already an all-time high. The smallest increment, to 5.37 baht,
would be a rise of 13.77%.

The ERC based the new electricity fee mainly on the cost of natural gas, imported coal and diesel.

It expected the price of natural gas to rise by 17% to 564 baht per million British thermal units (BTU) from the current 482 baht per million BTUs. Natural gas is used for about 60% of electricity generation in Thailand.

The ERC also predicted the price of imported coal, used for 6.5% of power generation, to soar 27% to 5,165 baht per tonne, and diesel, accounting for 6.3% of generation, to increase 14% to 31.94 baht per litre.

The ERC will accept public opinion on the planned electricity fee via its website until Dec 1.

This post has been published by Bangkok Post

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