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         The Energy Minister held a meeting with more than 20 leading organizations on energy about measures to handle COVID-19, assigned departments to think of short-term measures to help with cost of living and reduce cost of electricity, oil, and LPG, and prepared free hand sanitizer gel to give out to the people.

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         Mr. Sontirat Sontijirawong, Energy Minister conferred with departments within the Ministry of Energy, including EGAT and more than 20 leading organizations on energy, such as oil, electricity, petrochemical, etc., about measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and how to reduce the impact on the people’s cost of living. On March 5, 2020, the Energy Minister revealed the 3 measures which will be used by the Ministry of Energy and energy organizations; 1. Find ways to reduce the cost of fuel, LPG, and electricity to reduce consumer’s expenses 2. Amend the law to allow ethanol to be used to produce alcohol in order to help with the shortage situation 3. Exchange operational measures between organizations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These measures will be presented to the Cabinet for further consideration.

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         “The measures to help the economy have been assigned to related departments e.g., the issue of electricity cost was assigned to the Energy Regulatory Commission which will consider whether the cost can be reduced, how, and for whom. As for LPG, help will be given through the state welfare card that will lead to a successful operation. The measures will be decided quickly,” said the Energy Minister.

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         As for hand sanitizer gel, apart from the oil companies' promotional campaign to distribute them to customers at petrol stations, EGAT also made alcohol hand sanitizer gel under the name “EGAT’s Friendly Sanitizer Gel” to give out to EGAT officials and communities around power plants as a short term solution for the shortage of hand sanitizer gel which helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. On the same day, Mr. Viboon Rerksirathai, EGAT Governor, along with Mr. Boonyanit Wongrukmit, EGAT Deputy Governor - Power Business delivered 500 bottles of the alcohol hand sanitizer gel to Mr. Sontirat Sontijirawong, Energy Minister, to give out to Ministry of Energy officials. In addition, “EGAT’s Friendly Sanitizer Gel” was given to Ministry of Energy correspondents as well.

         However, if there is a shortage of hand sanitizer gel which contains alcohol, the Ministry of Energy can get it from ethanol production which is a biofuel, but due to legal regulations, the matter must be further discussed with related parties.