Three new areas in biochemical hub

Three new areas in biochemical hub

Supply of cassava, sugar cane secured

The Industry Ministry is speeding up development of its biochemical hub in three new provinces -- Chachoengsao, Ubon Ratchathani and Lop Buri -- in addition to the four ongoing provinces of Khon Kaen, Nakhon Sawan, Kamphaeng Phet and Udon Thani.

"We added three provinces that have huge plantations and a large volume of cassava and sugar cane to supply our biochemical industry," said Somchai Harnhirun, acting industry minister. "The cabinet last week acknowledged the progress of this plan and approved the three new locations."

He said the government wants to promote the biochemical hub as the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia.

Mr Somchai said the ministry is trying to revoke measures and laws that hinder new investment. It also wants to improve the Sugar Cane and Sugar Act to allow products to be supplied to the biochemical industry.

The ministry aims to speed up tax measures and incentives for the plan to encourage use of biochemical products that are eco-friendly.

The bioeconomy plan was launched in 2017 for the period of 2018-27. It is part of the Pracha Rat (People's State) initiative, whereby the government will promote value-added agricultural products such as cassava, tapioca and sugar cane in order to increase household income.

The biochemical industry is one of the government's 12 targeted industries.

Nakhon Sawan and Kamphaeng Phet were chosen as the first two provinces for the scheme, and the ministry added Khon Kaen and Udon Thani.

"The ministry has seen investment value of 9.74 billion baht in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme because of the biochemical initiative nationwide, including such projects as kidney dialysis liquid, bioplastics and methyl ester," Mr Somchai said. "The government predicts investment flows in the related biochemical hub of 41 billion baht by 2021."

He said the ministry will move ahead with establishment of an industrial estate in Ubon Ratchathani's Det Udom district with a budget of 2.99 billion baht on a 2,313-rai plot.

For Chachoengsao, one of the three EEC provinces, the ministry will promote two projects for investment from private companies: the Blue Olio Tech City industrial estate in Bang Pakong district on 988 rai, with an investment of 12.5 billion baht; and the Bio Hub Asia project in Phanom Sarakham district on 3,500 rai, with an investment of 50 billion.

For Lop Buri, the ministry will encourage companies and communities to support a complex worth 32 billion baht, located on a 2,500-rai plot in Ban Mi district.

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