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Energy Ministry aims to stay put during 'Bangkok shutdown'

Energy Minister Pongsak Ruktapongpisal yesterday reaffirmed that the ministry, located at the Energy Complex, would be open for business as normal during the "Bangkok shutdown" period, starting on Monday.

The ministry does, however, have a backup plan in the case that officers are not able to get to work at the location.

The plan includes backup working space and Internet system in which they can work.

The directorgeneral of the Energy Business Department, Somnuek Bamrungsalee, said his agency had coordinated with traders of LPG and NGV within a 2kilometre radius of seven locations earmarked for massive demonstrations from Monday about the security of their operations and a reserve plan for energy supply.

There are 93 oil stations, nine NGV stations and eight LPG stations in the area, he said.

Meanwhile, Tanit Sorat, vice chairman of the working committee at the National Economic and Social Advisory Council, said most big business operators were prepared for the Bangkok siege, but the most worrisome factor was the increase of traffic in the capital.

He said the shutdown would hamper commercial bank's ability to issue loans and receive payments, while convenience stores located in potentially hostile areas would be unable to stockpile products.

"Transportation of products and capital transaction via commercial banks will be disrupted by the shutdown. Deliveries to hostile intersections should be postponed on Monday, but I do not believe that the situation will prolong until the end of next week," said Tanit.

He explained that the area that was most worrying was near the Port of Khlong Toei, where ships full of containers make around 5,500 trips to its docks every day.

Supporters of the People's Democratic Reform Committee will be gathering at Khlong Toei intersection, which is right next to the port.



LG to invest Bt300m in Rayong plant expansion

LG Electronics plans to expand investment in its Rayong factory by about Bt300 million by the end of next year.

The expansion will be allocated to the manufacturing of invertertype compressors, which should reduce the import of compressors from China and South Korea.

The move is also in line with the company's strategy of using Thailand as the export base for such compressors to Asean.


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