The National Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) yesterday signed an amended memorandum of understanding with the Department of Industrial Works (DIW) to make the regulator an alternative one-stop-service choice for businesses applying for power-plant perm
The MoU is to go into effect on November 1 in line with the government’s policy of improving services for factory operators.
The MoU extends the ERC’s authority to approve applications for power-plant expansions, permit renewals, and business cancellations. Under the original agreement signed in 2009, the ERC could only approve the establishment of new power plants.
The ERC will still have to seek the DIW’s consensus as part of the application process, but there will no longer be unnecessary delays, as there will be a uniform checklist and online database for sharing of information between the state agencies to cut redundant processes. This should speed up approvals for Ror 4 factory permits from the typical 90 days to 60 days, according to ERC chairman Pornthep Thanyapongchai.
To support small power-generation businesses, the Cabinet on Tuesday agreed to exempt the requirement for Ror 4 factory permits for businesses relating to NGV and LPG (natural gas for vehicles and liquefied petroleum gas) service stations, small hydroelectric plants near dams, wind-power plants, and roof-top solar projects of less than 1 megawatt capacity.
The new MoU between the ERC and the DIW should end a previous conflict between the two state agencies with regards to the issuing of Ror 4 permits, whereby the DIW was accused of dragging its feet on approvals, Pornthep said.