Thailand’s EEC board discusses water resources, clean energy plans for U-Tapao project


BANGKOK – The board of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) has approved clean energy and water management plans in preparation for the BBS Joint Venture Group, the winning bidder, to develop the U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport project.

The EEC policy committee held the meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, to monitor the progress of the EEC mega project that intends to develop the U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport and aerotropolis in the eastern region of Thailand. The project is a joint venture of the Thai government and the BBS Joint Venture Group. Negotiations are underway, and are expected to be concluded this month and presented to the Cabinet in April.

EEC board members also discussed a water management plan for the area, expressing great concerns over the recurrent drought issue. A short-term plan focuses on utilizing canals and reservoirs, promoting a water use reduction, and purchasing water from private sources in some areas. As for the long-term plan, from 2020 to 2037, a budget of almost THB 53 billion baht (USD 1.6 billion) will be spent on 53 projects to develop and manage water resources in the area, including the conversion of seawater into freshwater.

Additionally, the EEC board approved a clean energy plan for the EEC zone, encouraging the use of solar energy for the benefit of the environment. The Provincial Electricity Authority of Thailand and the Energy Ministry will discuss electricity pricing after the plan is added to the national power development scheme.