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Committee urges govt to boost energy competition

Reform panel sees action within 2 years

The national reform committee for energy has proposed to the government that it hurry to finish the plan for the fourth phase of petrochemical development within two years in order to raise industry competitiveness, said committee chairman Pornchai Rujiprapa.

The request is part of the committee’s proposal for reform of the petroleum and petrochemical industry.
Another proposal is that the govฌernment give a tax break to the petrochemical industry that matches that given new investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
The government should also ask related state agencies to completely implement the plan within five years after it has been approved.
Pornchai noted that the first to the third phases of the development plan focused on the production of plastic pellets for manufacturing plastic products, while the fourth phase focused on engineering plastics, which would add value to the counฌtry’s economy. 
The proposal advocates for the fourth phase of development be focused on the eastern seaboard area. The upstream petrochemical comฌplex should be set up to use liquefied petroleum gas or naphtha as the raw material. It would have ethylene proฌduction capacity of between 1 million tonnes and 1.5 million tonnes per year.
The complex will serve those who want to set up middle and downstream petrochemical businesses, which could produce specialty products and high-value-added product.
The committee also proposed that the government encourage the refinery business to improve their production processes. 
Pornchai added that in the long run the government should seek new locations for the expansion of petrochemical business in order to distribute income to other regions. Some areas in the South could be suitable for developing the complex, he said.

Foreign investment
The government should also promote the clusters of upstream-middle-downstream petrochemical complexes, support the oleochemical business, rubber business and bio plastic business and offer all of them tax privileges equal to those investing on the Eastern Economic Corridors. 
The development of the petrochemical industry over the past 30 years attracted massive foreign investment to Thailand, representing around Bt1 trillion in accumulatฌed investment.
The export of petrochemical products is one of the top income earners for the country. 

Published : January 14, 2018

By : The Nation

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