Agencies urged to speed up ELV measures
Motorists encouraged to scrap old vehicles
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered responsible agencies to speed up offering incentives and measures to encourage motorists to scrap their ageing vehicles in a bid to reduce ultra-fine dust particles known as PM2.5 and tackle ongoing expensive steel prices.
According to government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, Gen Prayut on Monday voiced his concerns about "end-of-life" vehicles (ELVs) that remain on the roads and voiced his full support for the Industry Ministry's plans to recycle used cars nationwide to reduce the pollution problem and tackle the rise in the price of imported steel.
As of Jan 31, Thailand has more than 5.03 million vehicles registered that are over 20 years old, according to data from the Land Transport Department, which registers vehicles.
The number of old vehicles is forecast to increase to 16 million units over the next 20 years if no recycling action is taken, said Mr Thanakorn, adding that older vehicles without good and proper maintenance standards have resulted in a rise in air pollution and PM2.5 particles.
According to Mr Thanakorn, Gen Prayut said ELVs must be recycled properly so that their parts could be used in industry to help the country reduce steel imports. In every old vehicle, steel represents up to 69% of the structure.
Thailand currently consumes around 19 million tonnes of steel per year, 12 million tonnes of which is imported, with 7 million tonnes coming from domestic production.
According to an Industrial Works Department report, there are only two companies in Thailand that operate suitable car scrapping facilities, both of which are located in Ayutthaya.
The government thus needs to support incentives and measures to attract more investment, the department proposed.
As part of the efforts to scrap ageing vehicles, the Industry Ministry in 2019 signed a memorandum of understanding with the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) and Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization to cooperate in a pilot project to recycle ELVs.
The project aims to promote the demolition and recycling of old vehicles, especially cars over 20 years old.