LED Manufacturers: Thailand Government Project Sector Still in Delay

The impact from Royal Thai Armed Forces coup that dissolved the former government headed by Yingluck Shinawatra and senate a year ago has affected the country’s economy well into 2015, notably the streetlight sector has been hurt the most, observed the majority of LED manufacturers interviewed at LED Expo Thailand 2015, which took place from May 21-24 at the IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center, Bangkok.

Government streetlight project market outlook at the moment is still slow, said Tan Theansukhont, Executive Marketing Engineer, Marketing Department, Toshiba.

“Usually the Thai government releases streetlight public tenders twice per year, but this year only once,” said Theansukhont.

In the photo are MLS LED streetlights. The streetlight sector remains sluggish in Thailand as government projects are put on hold, said manufacturers. (LEDinside)

The most affected manufacturers by the Thai government demand slowdown has been those that previously were focused in the construction project sector.

“Our 16,000 LED streetlights for government projects has passed testing in four areas, but the project is still in delay,” said Howard Huang, Managing Director, TP LED Lighting.

It is also becoming more challenging for manufacturers to profit from government public tenders. “Prices for LED T8 tube lights in government bidding projects have dropped from 400 Thai Baht (US$11.95) to around 300 to 360 Thai baht,” said Huang. “In one bay LED tube lighting project in Bangkok, one manufacturer acquired the bid for 290 Thai baht.”

LED tube lights such as the ones pictured here from TP Halo are fetching much lower prices in government public tender projects in Thailand.(LEDinside)

Thai government tenders also have fairly high efficacy standards, normally requiring 130 to 140 lm/W efficiency, Power Factor (PF)>0.95, and Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)<15%, according to Kukoc Su, Director, Lighting Business Division, Laster Tech. The Taiwanese high power LED manufacturer has been in the Thailand lighting market for about three years.

Some manufacturers were a bit more optimistic. Central government streetlight projects remain slow, but local government streetlight projects have continued to make progress, said Thaunpopua Sontichni, Product Manager of Philips Lighting in Thailand.

Philips solar cell LED streetlights. (LEDinside)

Several LED manufacturers including Lumileds also noted many government lighting projects are now undergoing review or readjustments, and it will probably take a while before it picks up again.

In response to these turn of events, some manufacturers including TP LED Lighting have adjusted its business strategy. TP LED lighting is shifting away from construction or project lighting sector to retail lighting, such as convenient stores and hardware shops, said Huang.

(Author: Judy Lin, Chief Editor, LEDinside)

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