The Thai Administrative Court has ordered termination of the operating permits of only two industrial projects in the Map Ta Phut, allowing 74 other earlier-suspended projects to go ahead. The two suspended projects are expansions – An ethylene-glycol (EG) plant by TOC Glycol, a unit of PTT Chemical PCL, and a vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) plant by an affiliate of Siam Cement PCL. To get a new licence, the company will have to conduct new environmental and health impact assessments. The two operators have decided not to move location as the long-awaited environmental regulations have shown clarity. The court noted that the two projects might be included in the list of 11 harmful activities recently approved by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry. Thai Plastic and Chemicals Plc (TPC), a unit of Siam Cement Group, expects the HIA and EIA of its vinyl chloride monomer capacity expansion will be completed by the end of this year. TPC’s project to increase capacity by 40,000 tpa is expected to be ready for operation in the Q3-2011.
As the majority of Map Ta Phut projects remain unsure whether they can proceed, additional information will be needed to be sent to authorities on approved operating permits for each project within the next week to clarify which ones are on the list of harmful activities. The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand, the Industrial Works Department and the Primary Industries and Mines Department are responsible for granting permits for projects. The three agencies have been assigned to examine within 30 days the projects that conducted EIAs to decide if they fall on the harmful list.