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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs           19   August  2011

SCG to make plants more environmentally friendly

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SCG Chemicals, a unit of the Siam Cement Group, has earmarked 2.5 billion baht (US$83.5 million) for environmental management at Map Ta Phut over the next six years including turning all of its 17 plants into "eco-factories" emitting zero waste by 2013.

The plan features what will be Thailand's biggest enclosure ground flare (EGF), a device that will reduce smoke and noise from the production process, said Somchai Wangwattanapanich, the vice-president for operations.

The big-budget programmes will be on top of 100 million baht normally spent on corporate social responsibility activities annually.

"Business prosperity must not compromise environmental protection and the well-being of the surrounding communities. That's why we are investing in these long-term green projects," said Mr Somchai.

The ultimate goal is to develop the company's petrochemical complex in Rayong's Map Ta Phut area into a full-scale industrial town in the near future, he said.

By operating in a sustainable manner in harmony with the environment and surrounding communities, big corporations like SCG can avoid a repeat of the environmental disputes that prompted the 2009 court ruling that suspended 76 industrial projects in Map Ta Phut.

Twenty of them belonged to SCG.

Mr. Somchai, who is also managing director of Map Ta Phut Olefins, said projects implemented between now and 2016 would share the objectives of reducing energy consumption, noise, nitrogen oxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Other projects will cover water treatment, waste management and building green zones. For example, the EGF will allow complete combustion, thereby reducing the release of heat, flames and smoke into the air.

Construction will begin next month for completion in late 2013.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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