East Water plans more supply for Thailand’s Eastern industrial estates

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SINGAPORE, July 3 – Eastern Water Resources Development and Management Plc, or East Water, plans added water supply to industrial estates in Thailand’s east, following higher water usage in the area, the company president said.

Praphant Asava-aree, at Singapore International Water Week July 1-5 at Marina Bay Sands, said that his firm is discussing with eastern customers to support expanded investment at up to six industrial estates there, creating a higher use of water in industrial parks and for general consumption both business and tourism.

More plants moved or expanded their production base of thousands rai of farmland to the eastern part of the country after last year’s mega floods in the central region, he noted.

Mr Praphant expected a water usage estimation can be done within two months, which will further be discussed with the government sector for joint plans for supply provision.

Before last year’s flood, his company forecast that water usage in the region would reach about 400 million cubic metres (MCM) annually in the next 10 years, or a rise of about 30 per cent from this year’s usage of 280 MCM/year.

East Water’s current investment plans include a reservoir construction project in Rayong’s Tab Ma with a budget of Bt2.7 billion for a water supply of 55 MCM/year, and a water supply distribution development project in Chon Buri’s Laem Chabang with a budget of Bt800 million for 70 MCM/year more.

There are also concerns regarding the insufficient amount of rainfall collected and retained in eastern reservoirs, which Mr Praphant said could cause a water shortage next year.

The volume of water kept and used this year are similar to last year at about 283 MCM.

Meanwhile, East Water’s untreated water price adjustment in the eastern region followed its prior announcement, Mr Praphant said. Prices are adjusted upward yearly during 2012-2014 from Bt9.25/cubic metre (CM) to Bt10/CM this year, and will reach Bt11/CM in 2014.

The 3R strategy of reduce, recycle, and reuse is being promoted by the firm to save water.