PTT continues Mab Ta Phut projects despite Thai court ruling

13 October 2009 09:34  [Source: ICIS news]

MUMBAI (ICIS news)--Construction work at PTT’s projects at Mab Ta Phut in Thailand has not stopped despite an order by the country’s Central Administrative Court, a company source said on Tuesday.

"It is work as usual. The court order was directed towards government authorities and not companies. And the government has not yet followed the court order as companies have followed all regulations [in securing environmental approval for their projects]," the source said.

The Central Administrative Court had ordered construction at 76 projects to temporarily stop because of rising concerns about environmental pollution at the Mab Ta Phut industrial estate in Rayong province.

The government had already appealed to the country’s Supreme Court and PTT would be filing an independent appeal this week, the source added.

An industry analyst said that although PTT and other chemical companies had not stopped construction, they could face problems in securing an operating
licence once their projects are completed.

"Fortunately, most of our projects are still under construction and we have time to get approval for an operating
licence," the PTT source said.

The company’s new gas processing plant is due for commissioning next year, while subsidiary PTT Chemical plans to start up a new 1m tonne/year cracker at the end of this year.

"We still have two to three months and we think the government can solve the issue within that time," the source added.

The Thai government had said the court ruling would adversely affect investor sentiment and that gross domestic product (GDP) growth could drop 0.4 percentage points next year. Concerns had also been expressed that any halt in construction activity would affect thousands of jobs in the Mab Ta Phut area.

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By: Malini Hariharan
+65 6780 4359

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