Eppo details scenarios for falling consumption

13-Aug-2020 Intellasia | BangkokPost | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The Energy Policy and Planning Office (Eppo) expects a sharp decline in Thai energy demand, with all energy products showing negative growth in line with the economic contraction predicted by state and private agencies.

Eppo chief Wattanapong Kurovat yesterday unveiled two potential scenarios of energy consumption in 2020.

Last Thursday, the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) estimated that GDP would contract by 7-9 percent this year, citing Covid-19 impact. This led Eppo to estimate that energy demand would shrink by 7.9%.

Energy products would follow the same trend, with petrol consumption down by 6.3%, diesel by 4%, jet fuel by 43%, fuel oil by 10%, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by 10.9 percent and electricity by 3%.

The JSCCIB believes that economic prospects are worse than earlier estimated because the tourism sector will be held back by air travel restrictions worldwide.

The other scenario of 2020 energy demand is based on a prediction by the government’s think tank, the National Economic and Social Development Council, which in May forecast GDP to contract by 5-6 percent this year.

In this scenario, energy consumption would shrink by 5.3 percent to 2,566,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOED).

Demand growth of all types of energy products would dive below zero. Consumption of refined oil would shrink by 14.2%, electricity by 2.3%, natural gas by 5.4 percent and domestic and imported coal by 1%.

Eppo reported a 10.1 percent decline in energy demand in the first half of the year, to 2,496,000 BOED. Refined oil consumption fell by 12.6%, coal by 0.3%, natural gas by 8.5 percent and electricity by 3.9%.

Wattanapong said Supattanapong Punmeechaow, the new energy minister, will be asked to solve a huge surplus of power generation capacity in reserve, currently more than 40 percent of total capacity.

Meanwhile, energy authorities are considering extending economic relief measures by asking the Oil Fuel Fund Office (Offo) and PTT Plc to keep cooking gas, or LPG, and compressed natural gas (CNG) at low prices.

The LPG price has been capped for low-income householders under the social welfare card scheme, but the measure only lasts to the end of September.

Offo would need to inject 6.5 billion baht in cash to continue the price control.

Officials will also talk with PTT, the sole CNG buyer, to extend special discount prices for public transport operators.



Category: Thailand

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