HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

EGAT may relocate power plants to Indonesia

Private sector urges government to tackle EU trade barriers

Steel industry likely to improve this year

Forthcoming Industrial Fair will be a money spinner

EGAT may relocate power plants to Indonesia

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) is looking into the possibility of selling some of its older power plants to Indonesia. EGAT Governor Stthiporn Ratanopas recently stated that some of its power plants can be dispensed with.

Eddie Widino, director of Indonesia’s state-owned electricity company PT PLN said, “I think there is a chance here as Indonesia now needs a vast supply of electricity.”

The plants offered are a 33X75 Mw coal-fired power plant; a 4X60 Mw gas turbine plant and a 2X75 Mw steam-generated plant (PLTU).

In response to the EGAT plan, Widino said PT PLN welcomed it, particularly because EGAT would offer competitive prices.

“We have yet to negotiate in detail the prices of the power plants but for sure, they will be cheaper than those offered by the private contractors group IPP (Independent Power Producers),” Widino added.

Widino said that although the power plants offered were second hand, PLN was not afraid as they would be operated fully by the EGAT. The locations of the plants have yet to be decided. “But we will give priority to regions which are facing an electricity crisis, in particular those outside the island of Java,” he said. (TNA)

Private sector urges government to tackle EU trade barriers

A leading industrialist is calling on the government to bring the issue of European Union non-tax trade barriers into the global limelight, saying that such barriers were not fair for developing countries.

Nilsuwann Leelarassamee, deputy president of the Thai Industrial Council’s committee on non-tax trade barriers, warned that the EU’s imposition of an integrated product policy (IPP) on products that did not meet its stringent environmental requirements could have a devastating effect on developing economies.

Nilsuwann called on the Thai government to ensure that the matter was brought to the attention of global bodies such as the World Trade Organization and the Asian Free Trade Association to persuade the EU to slow down their imposition of the IPP or scrap it altogether.

The fact that the rich nations of the EU could extract taxes from developing nations would pose a severe impediment to the industrial competitiveness of nations such as Thailand, he said. (TNA)

Steel industry likely to improve this year

The steel industry is expected to improve this year due to the recovery of property business and the significant increase in the product demand by China. Win Viriyaprapaikit, senior executive vice president of Sahaviriya Steel Industry Plc, said the government’s move to stimulate the economy by boosting the property business, particularly the program to build over 11,727 units of houses for the poor would contribute to the steel industry’s recovery.

The considerable demand by China, which is the county’s new key steel export destination, will also boost the region’s steel industry. It was projected the local steel industry would grow 10% this year with the demand for 5.1 million tons compared with 4.8 million tons last year.

Win said the company planned to increase the production of hot-rolled steel to 2.4 million tons from around 2 million last year to accommodate the increased demand locally. As well, the firm had a plan to increase the export of the product by 10% with China and the United States becoming main destinations.

In the first quarter of this year, the order placement from China increased to around 120,000 tons partly because the company stressed penetrating the Chinese market.

However, high production costs of the product are still a cause for concern. Should the costs continue to increase, price increases are unavoidable.

Currently, the local steel price stands around US$315 per ton while that in the world market is $340 per ton. (TNA)

Forthcoming Industrial Fair will be a money spinner

Organizers hoping for 100 million baht in the coffers

Supatatt Dangkrueng

The Chiang Mai Industrial Fair is expected to bring in more than 100 million baht say the organizers, which include the Federation of Thai Industry Chiang Mai, Industrial Promotion Center Region 1, Chiang Mai Provincial Industry Office, Board of Investment (BOI), Industrial Finance Corporation of Thailand (IFCT), and Thai Small and Medium scaled-Enterprises (SME) Operators Association, Chiang Mai. The fair will run from January 30 to February 9 at the Industrial Promotion Center Region 1, Chiang Mai.

Sansern Sutjaritkul, the president of Thai SME Associations, Chiang Mai-Lamphun branch, said the fair is being held aiming to promote and develop industry in the northern region. It will also facilitate connection and cooperation between all SME’s in Thailand and foreign countries.

There are 6 categories of products that can be found here, which are ceramics, woven cloth, furniture, foods, jewelry and farm machinery. This year has special activities celebrating the 20 year anniversary of the Industry Council. Since it is being supported by BOI and IFCT, it is expected that the numbers of visitors will increase from the previous year with an additional 10% expected.