Economy April 07, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Two pass technical round for Mae Mo power plant project

Two of the three groups seeking the contract to build a new power plant in Mae Mo district, Lampang province, were qualified in the technical round held by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand.
An Egat source said the two successful groups were Alstom Power System FA-Alstom Thailand-Marubeni Corp and one comprising Sumitomo Corp-Hitachi and Italian-Thai Development.
The bidder that did not meet the technical qualifications was China’s  Harbin Electric International.
The new plant with capacity of 600 megawatts will replace the retiring units 4 to 7 of the existing Mae Mo plant.
In the next step, Egat will open the bidders’ pricing documents, and the result is expected to be announced this month. 
The Bt30-billion project is expected to commence this year and take four years to complete, starting to supply electricity in 2018.
The new environmentally friendly plant will reduce its dependence on lignite coal from 16 million tonnes a year to 2.6 million tonnes annually.
Govt to legalise Myanmar fishermen
The government is drafting a bill to provide identity cards to currently illegal fishermen from Myanmar, according to the Myanmar embassy in Thailand.
The two governments have agreed on the legalisation of Myanmar workers in the Thai fishing industry. 
“There is a draft to provide identities for fishermen. They are only waiting for the approval of the Thai Ministry of Labour,” said Moe Kyoe, secretary of the embassy’s committee to protect Myanmar labour rights. 
This validation will protect Myanmar workers from profiteers and forced labour and also make them eligible for rights under the current labour laws in Thailand.
There have been many recorded cases of human trafficking, as Myanmar workers are sold to Thai fishing fleets and forced to work.
There are more than 3 million Myanmar immigrants in Thailand, only 1.7 million of whom are legal. – Nan Su Hnin Htwe, Myanmar Eleven
Five milk producers recognised
The Foreign Trade Department plans to recognise five more milk producers with its “Bo Thong” or Golden Ribbon certificate guaranteeing the high quality of the fresh milk they supply in Thailand.
The aim is to encourage Thai milk producers to aspire to high standards under the market liberalisation with Australia and New Zealand so as to reduce those countries’ tariffs on dairy products.
Surasak Riangkrul, director-general of the department, said the certification should increase consumer confidence in the quality of Thai fresh milk. 
The product should be embraced not only by importers but by domestic consumers, as 100-per-cent fresh milk is highly nutritious and cheap compared with imported powdered milk. The Golden Ribbon certification should make Thai consumers more aware of this.
The department has already awarded the Golden Ribbon to milk produced by The Royal Chitralada Agricultural Projects. 
The other five producers that will be certified are the Dairy Farming Promotion Organisation of Thailand, Ratchaburi Nong Pho Dairy Cooperative Ltd (under Royal Patronage), Wangnamyen Dairy Cooperative Ltd, Khon Kaen Dairy Cooperative Ltd, and Kalasin Dairy Foods Ltd.

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