Activist opposes B330bn Exxon project in EEC

Activist opposes B330bn Exxon project in EEC

Srisuwan cites environmental damage, possibility that reclaimed land could be used for missile launches

Members of the Friends of the East Network arrive in Bangkok on July 23 to complain to the prime minister about land use planning for the Eastern Economic Corridor. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)
Members of the Friends of the East Network arrive in Bangkok on July 23 to complain to the prime minister about land use planning for the Eastern Economic Corridor. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)

An activist has opposed a coastal land reclamation plan near Laem Chabang port to accommodate Exxon Mobil Corp’s 330-billion-baht ethylene cracker project.

Srisuwan Janya, as chairman of the Stop Global Warming Association, issued a statement on Saturday against the implementation of the plan.

He cited Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit, who told Thai media on Thursday the US energy giant had agreed to invest 330 billion baht in Thailand if the government could find it a large plot within a 5km radius from its Laem Chabang plant in Si Racha district, Chon Buri province.

The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand later said it was conducting a feasibility study on the reclamation of some coastal land to make room for 1,300 rai required by the project.

In Mr Srisuwan’s view, the project, which will operate an upstream business of pellet manufacturing, is not among the Eastern Economic Corridor’s 10 target industries, which involve high-technology or innovation that could bring technology transfers.

“The plan is therefore in violation of the 2018 EEC law,” he said. 

The activist pointed out the land reclamation would seriously affect marine natural resources and coasts, as well as traditional fishing and community tourism in the area such as Ao Udom and Koh Si Chang.

“Thai society learned the hard way from the land reclamation for Map Ta Phut deep-sea port. The plan might also compromise national security as a port can be modified for missile launches or turned into an intelligence unit," he said.

“If this is the case, the area should be regarded as a strategic military zone and the government should consider it carefully."

If the government gives the project the green light, Thai people can file an injunction with a court to stop it.

He urged related agencies to drop the plan now or face the legal consequences.


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