Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) seeks anti-flood funding
The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) has been tasked with finding the best method of financing industrial estates’ flood-prevention infrastructure, following the Finance Ministry’s rejection of a plan to draw funds from the government’s insurance pool.
The Industry Ministry earlier planned to finance two-thirds of the cost using funds from the insurance pool, with estate operators taking out soft loans from the Government Savings Bank (GSB) for the rest. The GSB charges 0.01 per cent on the loans for a seven-year term.
Industry Minister MR Pongsvas Svasti said yesterday that as all the estates are privately owned, there must be a mechanism to help them through the IEAT. For example, the IEAT may have to temporarily assume ownership of the infrastructure to make it eligible for financing. Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry would be asked to extend the GSB loan term to 15 years, to help ease the operators’ financial burden.
Yesterday, the Cabinet acknowledged the construction plans of six of seven inundated industrial estates, which are slated for completion this year. The exception is Factory Land.
Bangpa-in Industrial Estate will require Bt728 million for an 11-km floodwall, to be completed end-July; Bangkadi Industrial Park Bt272 million for an 8.5-km wall, completed end-February; Rojana Industrial Park Bt2.2 billion for a 77.6-km wall, completed end-September; Hi-Tech Industrial Estate Bt500 million for a 13-km wall, completed end-August; Nava Nakorn Industrial Estate Bt700 million for an 18-km wall, completed end-August; and Saha Rattana Nakorn Industrial Estate Bt400 million for a 13-km wall, completed end-August.
Nipit Arunvongse na Ayudhya, managing director of Nava Nakorn Industrial Estate, said that despite the unclear financing plan, all industrial estate operators have to proceed with construction to complete the walls before the next rainy season. Nava Nakorn’s wall is 5.8 metres high.
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