IEAT looks to underground water stores

IEAT looks to underground water stores

Plastic Rainwater Storage Structure installed at the Lat Krabang Industrial Estate in Bangkok.
Plastic Rainwater Storage Structure installed at the Lat Krabang Industrial Estate in Bangkok.

The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) will pilot underground Plastic Rainwater Storage Structures (PRSS) in a move to help prevent flooding and water scarcity on industrial estates, with Japanese cooperation.

The technology is another IEAT effort to deal with water issues after its Bangpu Industrial Estate in Samut Prakan was severely hit by flooding in August.

The IEAT launched the first PRSS project, co-developed by the IEAT, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, and Chichibu Chemical Co, at Lat Krabang Industrial Estate in Bangkok.

Veeris Ammarapala, IEAT governor, said Thailand and Japan established the project in 2019 to protect the industrial sector against water-related problems.

"We have already set up PRSS and tested its system at the Lat Krabang Industrial Estate," he said.

The PRSS system installed at Lat Krabang Industrial Estate is primarily aimed at preventing flooding. It can hold up to 300 cubic metres of rainwater, which can later be gradually discharged into the sewer systems.

PRSS is based on "New Pla-kun" technology which allows for installation on vacant land on industrial estates and residential areas.

Its structure is made of lightweight, recycled plastic which can hold water amounting to 95% of its weight.

PRSS can also be built into two different structures to serve different purposes, according to the IEAT.

Its structure can be designed to let retained water seep through and go into underground soil, which can help increase underground water and solve land subsidence. It can also be built to hold 100% rainwater for later use when water is scarce.

Mr Veeris said the IEAT aims to use PRSS at new industrial estates in Thailand to prevent inundations and water scarcity, especially those in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) in Chon Buri, Rayong and Chachoengsao.

The government wants to develop the EEC area into Thailand's high-tech industrial hub, featuring 12 targeted S-curve industries.

They are: new-generation cars; smart electronics; affluent, medical and wellness tourism; agriculture and biotechnology; food; robotics for industry; logistics and aviation; biofuels and biochemicals; digital; medical services; defence; and education development.

In September, the IEAT signed a water purchase agreement to serve two key industrial estates for 20 years to avert a water shortage, as investment in the EEC grows. The water will supply 300 factories in Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in Rayong and Laem Chabang Industrial Estate in Chon Buri.

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