IEAT, Japanese firms eye green project

IEAT, Japanese firms eye green project

An aerial view of the Map Ta Phut industrial estate.
An aerial view of the Map Ta Phut industrial estate.

The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) has joined hands with two Japanese firms to conduct a feasibility study on a green utility project at Smart Park Industrial Estate in Rayong, part of efforts to promote eco-friendly manufacturing.

Officials and executives from IHI Corporation and IHI Asia Pacific (Thailand) Co, which specialise in making aircraft engines, signed a memorandum of understanding on Thursday to study the development of renewable energy and green infrastructure.

The study is to last one year as the first phase of the project.

The IEAT set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at its industrial estates by 40% within 2030, said Veeris Ammarapala, governor of the IEAT.

After the study, a pilot factory designed to be kinder to the environment will be built in the second phase.

In the third phase, the IEAT will decide how to partner with the factory owner to commercialise products.

"Prospective investors at Smart Park want renewable power to fuel their manufacturing in line with the global trend for clean energy," said Mr Veeris.

Businesses need to make their factory operations more environmentally friendly to avoid facing non-tariff barriers imposed on their products exported to countries such as those that are in the European Union.

The EU is implementing a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) in the transitional phase to reduce the import of products made from carbon-intensive manufacturing.

CBAM covers iron and steel, aluminium, cement, fertiliser, electricity and hydrogen businesses.

"Investors have asked the authority to develop renewable energy as it will protect them against this trade hurdle," said Mr Veeris.

The IEAT operates 68 industrial estates in 16 provinces and a deep-sea port at Map Ta Phut in Rayong.

The green utility project will also support the government's efforts to promote clean energy.

"The government aims to have renewable energy make up 50% of fuels used for electricity generation in the country," said Industry Minister Pimphattra Wichaikul.

Authorities believe more renewable energy supply will help Thailand better attract foreign investment, she said.

The IEAT has so far cooperated with many agencies on programmes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at its industrial estates.

Some 62 factories participating in the schemes cut up to 175,078 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

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