Green energy projects in EEC drawing investors

The drive of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) to become Thailand’s hub for green energy production has drawn the interest of at least five Japanese companies keen to invest in renewable power projects at the Smart Park Industrial Estate.

The interest was underscored after Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) announced an agreement to push ahead with projects that support environmental protection, said IEAT Governor Veeris Ammarapala.

The five companies are Toyota Daihatsu Engineering & Manufacturing Co, Toyota Motor Thailand Co, Kansai Electric Power Corporation, Toyota Tsusho M&E (Thailand) Co and Osaka Gas (Thailand) Co.

The EEC is Thailand’s showcase zone for next-generation and green industries. It is a three-province infrastructure-rich zone just east of the capital Bangkok. Renewable energy is one of three industries the government has prioritized for investment incentives and privileges. Thailand is planning to transition to a national energy mix that relies on renewables for about 30 percent of electricity by 2037.

The Kingdom is already the leader in Southeast Asia in solar and wind power production.

According to the IEAT and METI agreement, Veeris said the EEC Office would set up a Carbon Neutral Industrial Estate committee this year to study clean energy development. Carbon neutrality refers to a goal that requires a country to strike a balance between emissions and absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Japan is among the largest investors in the Thai economy, and its companies have a large presence in the EEC. Japanese investment helped power Thailand’s first wave of industrialization in the 1970s and 1980s.