Electricity system endorsed
Project to energise local development
The cabinet yesterday approved the electricity system development project in big cities at an investment cost of 11.6 billion baht. The move is aimed at accommodating new technologies to be applied in local economic development.
Kobsak Phutrakul, assistant minister to the Prime Minister's Office, said the project overseen by the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) will primarily be assigned to the municipalities of Chiang Mai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Pattaya and Hat Yai.
The four municipalities were chosen mainly because of their high tourism potential.
The development is expected to be complete by 2021.
Of the total investment, 8.74 billion baht will come from borrowing, with the remaining 2.92 billion to be funded with revenue from the PEA.
The PEA reported that the investment would create energy security, reduce power blackouts and lay the groundwork for high technology, which will be used for local economic development, said Mr Kobsak.
The development will also help improve the landscape of each municipality, as the power grids will be put underground.
Mr Kobsak said the government also plans to extend the development to eight other big cities.
The PEA was told to consult the National Economic and Social Development Board about the next phase and to select appropriate cities.
"The other eight cities should be ones that have the highest potential for local economic development and offer a chance for the PEA to join the project," said Mr Kobsak.
Nathaporn Jatusripitak, an adviser to the Prime Minister's Office, said the cabinet yesterday also gave the nod for the Tourism Authority of Thailand to implement the Michelin Guide Thailand for 2017-21 with a total budget of 143.5 million baht.
The project aims to promote Thailand as a destination for tourism, especially for quality visitors from Europe, the US, Japan and China.
TAT will join Michelin Travel Partner to issue guidebooks on restaurants which meet the Michelin standards, while Michelin will send their inspectors to verify the quality standards of those restaurants in Thailand.
Thailand will be the sixth territory in Asia to join Michelin in issuing guide books recommending quality restaurants.
The other five are Japan, China, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong.
In a related development, the cabinet also accepted a proposal by the National Economic and Social Development Board to apply Japan's Kansai Strategic Special Zone as a role model in developing Thailand's border special economic zones and Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
According to Mr Kobsak, the EEC, implemented in 2014, is now a significant trading centre with fully developed infrastructure including roads, rail and water transportation networks.
It has been recognised as an important industrial cluster.