The Central Administrative Court has allowed 7 suspended projects in the Map Ta Phut industrial zone to resume construction – 6 of Siam Cement Group, one of PTT. These seven projects may only complete construction and begin testing. It remains uncertain whether they will be allowed to start commercial operations. The seven projects will have to secure the necessary regulatory approvals before production can begin, suggesting several months of delay before actual operations can start.
The projects are among 64 industrial projects that were suspended by a court order in December 2009, because they had failed to abide by requirements under the 2007 Constitution requiring environmental and health impact assessments and independent reviews for major industrial projects.
The PTT Group, which had 18 projects suspended in the area, will now be allowed to resume construction at its US$130 mln Bisphenol-A project. The project is run by PTT Phenol, a venture 40% held by PTT and the rest by PTT subsidiaries, PTT Aromatics and Refinery (PTTAR) and PTT Chemical. Project construction was nearly completed before the suspension. Now the company plans to speed up construction process and begin testing.
The six Siam Cement projects allowed to resume construction include projects run by subsidiaries Map Tha Phut Tank Terminal and Thai Polyethylene; Siam Polyethylene and Siam Synthetic Latex, two joint ventures between SCG and Dow Chemicals; and a project run by Thai MMA, a 50:50 venture between SCG and Mitsui Chemicals.
A committee led by former premier Anand Panyarachun expects to complete a framework on how new projects can meet constitutional requirements within the next several months.