By Gurdip Singh, Plastics News Correspondent
Singapore - Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) said 25 petrochemical projects with a total investment of 130 billion baht ($3900 million) have been suspended by a court decision to stop construction work at the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in Rayong province, south of Bangkok.
The court accused eight government units with violating Thailand's constitution relating to environmental and health safety compliance.
Meanwhile, PTT insists that all of its projects have obtained environmental impact assessment approval that incorporated an investment to reduce an environmental impact.
PTT said suspending the project will hurt plastics processors and other sectors that rely on petrochemicals. The company estimates the court ruling will cost Thai companies 95 billion baht ($2840 million) in lost revenue and 18 000 jobs.
"Therefore, PTT Group, in association with other major manufacturers, will work closely together with the concerning government agencies to find the best solution for this mater," said the company in an email to Plastics News.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's government has sought to resolve the issue, including a proposal to establish an independent environmental body.
The 25 projects that were suspended are part of a package of 76 projects worth 400 billion baht ($1200 million) that are scheduled for completion by the end of 2010.