IEAT builds eco-towns for factories

IEAT builds eco-towns for factories

Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in Rayong was categorised by experts as having 'eco-world class' status.
Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in Rayong was categorised by experts as having 'eco-world class' status.

The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) is building more eco-industrial towns to make factories more compatible with the environment while bolstering business competitiveness.

There are 34 industrial estates recognised as eco-industrial towns, with a good balance between manufacturing and waste management, IEAT said in a statement published to mark the agency's 48-year operation.

Three of them secured an "eco-world class" status from experts who base their evaluation on 22 criteria.

They are Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, RIL Industrial Estate and Map Ta Phut deep-sea port, all of which are located in the eastern province of Rayong.

Eco-world class is the top category for eco-industrial towns, followed by eco-excellence and eco-champion.

The IEAT believes it is moving in the right direction to build environmentally-friendly industrial estates as this is a key part of efforts to make sustainable industries.

In October, the IEAT board approved new industrial estates, aiming to promote high technology and innovation under the concept of an eco-industrial town, IEAT governor Somchint Pilouk said earlier.

From the IEAT's perspective, sustainability is minimising waste discharge from factories and using raw materials wisely. The practices will help increase production efficiency.

One example of this practice is "waste exchange," the IEAT said, referring to a process to turn waste from one factory into a raw material for an other.

This is a way to apply the 3Rs -- reduce, reuse and recycle -- in factories.

It is not only good for the environment, but it also "adds value to by-products or waste from production process," said the IEAT.

As of October 2020, Thailand has a total of 60 industrial estates in 16 provinces. The IEAT oversees 14 of them and cooperates with private companies in 46 industrial areas.

The estates accommodate 5,085 factories on a total of 178,654 rai.

The IEAT has focused more on the environmental aspect of industrial estates since 2000, which was subsequently added to the agency's vision.

The IEAT's latest plan to build Smart Park, which will support Thailand's targeted industries including robotics, aviation, medical and digital development, is also based on eco-industrial concepts.

A floating solar farm is planned there to generate electricity without emissions.

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