Illegal oil-processing factory burns in Khao Maikaew

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Fire caused about a million baht in damage at a Khao Maikaew oil-processing factory that officials said was operating illegally.

Firefighters took about 30 minutes to extinguish the Jan. 15 blaze at Everfrank Technology Co. in Huay Kai Nao village.

Taiwanese owner Huang Feng, 30, said he was preparing base oil to be used in hydraulic machinery when the processor overheated and set the oil aflame. The fire spread quickly, he said.

Kwanmuang Yenboontham, deputy mayor of Khao Maikaew, revealed afterward that Everfrank not only had no license to operate, its request for a building permit had been denied in 2013. But the factory was built and began operation anyway with, apparently, no one in local government noticing until a similar fire last month.

Firefighters took about 30 minutes to extinguish an oil fire at Everfrank Technology Co. in Huay Kai Nao village.Firefighters took about 30 minutes to extinguish an oil fire at Everfrank Technology Co. in Huay Kai Nao village.

Everfrank had moved from Plutaluang in 2013 following a string of environmental complaints from neighbors. Owners had requested to set up shop in Khao Maikaew, but the request was denied because building plans did not meet standards, Kwanmuang said.

Khao Maikaew’s mayor last month ordered the plant to shut down after a small fire there, but Everfrank ignored the order, he said.

Police and Chonburi provincial officials have now been contacted to put Everfrank out of business for good.