Industry Minister vows to protect Lat Krabang Industrial Estate from flooding

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Minister of Industry Wannarat Channukul on Friday inspected the city’s Lat Krabang Industrial Estate to review the manufacturing zone’s flood protection preparedness, while vowing to protect the zone from flooding.

Wannarat cited initial reports that the flood overflow would surround the industrial estate in 4-5 days, while its managers are directing the building of a flood-protection wall and expected it to be completed within 2-3 days.

As for the 17km most at risk area, the minister said, estate managers planned to use board paneling over the earthworks and cast concrete construction tubes to backup the panels.

The method was expected to handle water at up to 3.20 meters above mean sea level, he said.

Moreover, 500 soldiers and workers will help strengthen the flood prevention wall.

The Lat Krabang Industrial Estate is threatened by flooding after seven other estates in Ayutthaya and Pathum Thani – Saha Rattana Nakhon, Bang Pa-in, Rojana, Hi-Tech, Factory Land, Nava Nakorn and Bangkadi — earlier shared the fate of being forced to close due to the deep floodwater.

Established in 1978, there are 231 factories in the estate including automobile parts, electrical appliances, food and beverage. If the estate’s anti-flood works fail to protect the zone from the flood, it could cost more than Bt89 billion in damage.

Meanwhile, Minister of Energy Pichai Naripthaphan said there was no threat against security on energy in the country despite nationwide flooding.

There will be sufficient petrol, gas and electricity to supply the need of the public during the flood hardship, he said.

The minister said the flood has forced many petrol stations to close but the demand has also dropped so that there was no complaint on energy supply shortage.

However, he said, the NGV-powered vehicle owners may face difficulty as the transportation to deliver the natural gas to stations is delayed because of the flood.

Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) Governor Suthat Pattamasiriwat said the agency has increased its power reserves to 2,035 megawatts in case other power plants could not generate power due to flooding.

In a separate development, Board of Investment (BOI) Secretary General Atchaka Sibunruang said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra gave a green light to postpone the BOI Fair 2011, originally scheduled for Nov 10-25, which is now rescheduled to Jan 5-20, 2012 at Impact Muang Thong Thani.