The Industrial Works Department has requested a budget of 2 billion baht to build Thailand's first large-scale industrial waste incinerator.
The budget, which includes the cost of land and related equipment, will be used to construct an incinerator capable of treating 500 tonnes of waste a day.
Only a small-scale incinerator now exists in Thailand. With a capacity of 50 tonnes a day, the facility is owned by Akkhie Prakarn (AKP), a subsidiary of the SET-listed Better World Green Plc.
Pongtheb Jaru-ampornparn, the department's director-general, said the new incinerator may find a home in the industrial estates, as they have measures to control pollution.
Other possible locations are the unused areas in Ratchaburi of General Environmental Conservation Plc, the industrial waste management company.
The project, however, will require health and environmental impact assessments as mandated by Section 67 of the 2007 constitution.
AKP plans to list on the Market for Alternative Investment in the first quarter through an offering of at least 84 million shares to the public.
"AKP's incinerator is insufficient for the amount of industrial waste that is increasing every day with the growing economy," said Mr Pongtheb.
Meanwhile, private companies that own cement incinerators are unwilling to treat some types of industrial waste that react with cement, resulting in damage.
Mr Pongtheb said his department is confident the Strategic Formulation Committee for Water Resources Management will approve the project, as it is vital to Thailand's future.
"This can be seen by the number of factories increasing each year as well as Board of Investment applications topping 1 trillion baht this past year," he said, adding that Industry Minister Prasert Boonchaisuk approved the project.
Once endorsed by the government, a decision will be made as to whether the government or the private sector will lead the effort.
"Industrial waste incinerators are used worldwide. It's generally agreed they pose less risk to the environment than do landfills," said Mr Pongtheb.
He said the cost of burning industrial waste is 10,000 baht per tonne compared with 4,000 baht a tonne for burial in landfills.
About the author
- Writer: Nanchanok Wongsamuth
Position: News Reporter