This week, regional businesses, financial institutions and civil society organizations from across the Mekong region met to strategize about making investments more sustainable, which reduces risk, saves money and improves their reputations.
Laos is one of the ten South-East Asian nations preparing to form a single market at the end of 2015. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic Community (AEC) is intended to boost regional growth by creating a common market that will enable the free flow of goods, services and skilled labour — including scientists — between member states.
Sun Thaya has depended on his taxi boat for his income for years. On average, he said, he earns around 200,000 kips a month, or about $25, to take tourists to see river dolphins on the border between Laos and Cambodia. When there are no tourists, the Lao boatman just fishes in the area to feed his family.
A subsidiary of Thailand’s partially state-owned petrochemical giant PTT, has teamed up with Japan’s Marubeni Corp and Myanmar’s EDEN Group to develop a 400 MW natural gas-fired power plant in Myanmar’s port city of Thanlyin.
The beautiful coastal city of Quy Nhon along Vietnam’s central coast will soon house the Greater Mekong Subregion’s largest oil refinery. Advanced by the Thailand’s PTT Plc in partnership with Saudi Arabia’s ARAMCO, the 400,000 barrel-per-day facility will be fed by Saudi Arabian crude.
A deep gorge near Mong Ton Township on the Salween River in Myanmar has long been sought after by engineers from the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand. It can accommodate Southeast Asia’s tallest dam and deliver the equivalent of 25 per cent of Thailand’s current electricity consumption.
About 130 km from the Salween River’s mouth is a site longtime identified as the final location suitable for hydropower development on what remains one of Asia’s longest un-dammed rivers.
In April, Thailand-based Toyo-Thai Corporation PCL signed a memorandum of agreement with the Myanmar’s Ministry of Electricity to construct a 1,280 megawatt coal-fired power plant near the coastal village of Inn Din in Mon State. One month later 5,000 people staged a protest near the seaside Inn Din project site in Ye Township. Public opposition has been mounting since the project was first announced last year.
Lieutenant General Anantaporn Kanjanarat, Minister of Energy visited and delivered energy policy to Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), has ordered EGAT to provide clear information on electric power generation, back up plan and the fuel proportion used to produce electricity. EGAT is also requested to provide electricity purchase plan from abroad to present to public and investors to have better understanding on current country electricity situation. This measure happened after anti-coal fired power plants movement in many areas. Thailand’s electricity backup still remains high, the government does not urgently need to invest in new power plants, said the anti-coal fired power plant group.
The approval of Thailand National Power Development Plan (PDP2015) 2015-2035 will lead to the construction of up to 57,459 megawatts of power plants in next 20 years by referring to country energy security. The examination of the plan has found several irregularities, especially the PDP2015 will lead to excessive and unnecessary construction of power plants and create long term burden for all Thai consumers, at 6.7 hundred billion Baht. Energy is a key factor for social development however energy security should be for the well-being of people, to improve quality of life, local economy. At the same time, it must also take into account the sustainability of the environment and resources for next generations.