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NEWS UPDATES 9 January 2010

Thailand: 12 industrial projects ask court to lift suspension order

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Six industrial projects of PTT, Thailand’s biggest energy company and six others from the Siam Cement Group at the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in eastern Thailand have submitted further details to the court to seek lifting of the suspension of their activities for environmental reasons, national news agency TNA reported, quoting Prasobsil Chotmongkol, deputy governor of the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT).

PTT, a state-owned Stock Exchange of Thailand-listed oil and gas company formerly known as the Petroleum Authority of Thailand, and the Siam Cement Group, controlled by the Crown Property Bureau, are two of the largest corporations in Thailand. Investment in the 12 projects total some billion baht (1$=33 baht).

IEAT governor Monta Pranootnarapal said some 50 court-suspended industrial projects at the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate have the potential to continue. The projects can be compared to 11 projects that were earlier permitted by the Supreme Administrative Court to resume operations.

The IEAT has already submitted details of 16 projects to the court to consider lifting suspension, he said.

In addition, BRT Steel, supervised by the Department of Industrial Works, will submit details about their operations for court consideration next week.

The Ministry of Industry has opened a centre to advise operators whose projects have been suspended by the court. Two companies which installed systems to reduce their negative environmental impact, having up-to-standard water management, have sought advice so far.

In September a Central Administrative Court injunction suspended 76 industries at Map Ta Phut due to environmental concerns. The injunction followed complaints from residents and environmental groups that state agencies failed to issue proper operating licences to the industrial projects.

The Supreme Administrative Court later allowed 11 of the 76 projects to continue operating, with 65 to remain shuttered until they comply with the environmental and health requirements of Section 67 of the 2007 Constitution.


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