No chemical leaks at Nava Nakorn Industrial Estate

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BANGKOK, Oct 19 – Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health and Nava Nakorn Industrial Estate gave assurances to the public today that there was no chemical leakage from the flooded industrial estate in Pathum Thani province as hazardous chemicals have been moved to higher ground.

Minister of Public Health Wittaya Buranasiri said the Pollution Control Department and Department of Health have inspected that area and confirmed that there were no chemical substances in the area that could have affected humans.

However, as a safety precaution, the authorities who helped evacuate residents and workers from the industrial estate will wash themselves with clean water after their mission is complete.

Teams have been set up to closely monitor the situation in the estate, similar to other industrial parks and zones, he said, adding that the Ministry of Industry has ordered the preparation of preventive measures.

Nava Nakorn Executive Board Chairman Nopporn Chandawanich also said no chemicals had leaked from any factory in the estate because the estate prepared to cope with flooding since September.

The factories moved their hazardous chemicals for storage at premises more than10 metres high, he said, adding that the chemicals used in the water treatment ponds have been diluted.

Meanwhile, Bangchak Petroleum President Anusorn Sangnimnuan acknowledged that floodwaters overflowed into the company’s solar power plant in Ayutthaya’s Bang Pa-in district. The Bangchak subsidiary, Sunny Bangchak, was built with an investment cost of about Bt4 billion.

Mr Anusorn said the temporary dykes could not withstand the fast-moving water flow, submerging the premises under one metre of water, but all important equipment has already been moved to higher ground.

He reaffirmed that Bangchak’s oil depot and its biodiesel factory are safe, and that workers are reinforcing the dykes as the floodwater could linger for a month. However there are still some obstacles for sand transport due to the deep floodwaters on the way to the factories.

Sunny Bangchak reportedly sold 8-megawatt of electricity from solar power to the Provincial Electricity Authority since August, in the first phase of the company’s investment which still needs substantial additional investment to complete the whole project to produce 120 megawatts of solar power.