Plants at Map Ta Phut have been idle for a year, and construction at some of the new plants halted, because companies failed to carry out environmental and health assessments. 76 projects, worth an estimated US$9 bln, were suspended by a court ruling a year ago. The Map Ta Phut dispute seems likely to be resolved shortly on steps taken by the Thai Government. Thailand's cabinet has approved a list of industrial activities deemed harmful to the environment, as per Reuters.
If halted projects are not involved in activities on the list of 11 harmful activities, companies can make a new submission to the court to seek permission to resume operations. Projects that are involved in such activities must complete environmental and health impact assessments, hold public hearings and pass independent reviews before any restart.
The announcement preceded a scheduled court decision on whether to allow any of the suspended projects to operate. The court issued the injunction because the projects did not comply with requirements of the 2007 constitution relating to health and the environment, although companies complained that successive governments had failed to put the procedures in place.