The country’s biggest state power utility EGAT held a
top-management meeting last Monday to discuss its future following the
Supreme Administrative Court’s verdict last week stating that its
privatization plans are illegal.
EGAT Governor Kraisi Karnasuta said after the meeting
amongst EGAT executives from around the country that a number of
clarifications were made, including share buyback from all EGAT employees,
and how to handle business contracts in the aftermath of the Supreme
Administrative Court’s verdict.
Kraisi said that there should not be any problems
regarding contracts that have already been finalized and committed.
“It’s only a question of the status of the
contracting party, whether it’s a state enterprise or public company,”
he said about the finalized contracts.
However other contracts under negotiations will not be
signed until EGAT receives guidelines from the Council of State. For now,
EGAT’s status as to whether it is a public company or a state enterprise
is not yet clarified.
Now that it cannot raise funds in the capital market,
EGAT needs to reexamine its financial liquidity. If it does not have enough
in the coffers to implement various projects such as power generation
plants, or for an LNG joint venture with state energy firm PTT, it may ask
its subsidiaries to implement these new investment, said Kraisi.
According to a source, the verdict may also potentially
put an end to EGAT’s plans to set up a telecoms subsidiary to operate in
fiber optic network nationwide because the business plan was drawn up during
the period when EGAT was transformed from a state enterprise into a public
company last year.
Nevertheless, the contract that EGAT clinched with
private operators TT&T and True Corporation in which these two companies
would lease EGAT’s fiber optic network at 120 million baht a year will
remain unaffected. EGAT should continue with this business in order to earn
supplementary income to support its plan to give its staff a pay raise.
Reacting to the civil society organization’s
announcement that they will continue to revoke privatization of other state
enterprises, caretaker Energy Minister Viset Choopiban instructed energy
firm PTT to review legal steps that led to the listing of PTT on the stock
market in order to explain the matter to the public. (TNA)