This content is from: Local Insights

Green light for projects in Map Ta Phut

On September 2 2010, the Central Administrative Court announced a decision which had the effect of lifting the injunction against all but two projects in Map Ta Phut. This will allow many projects to proceed with construction and operation, easing uncertainty about Thailand as a heavy industry investment destination.

In June 2009, the Association for Global Warming Prevention and 42 individuals filed a case against eight government agencies for not complying with section 67(2) of the 2007 Constitution. The section requires that any project which may seriously affect the community as to quality of environment, natural resources and health be subject to (i) environment and health assessments, (ii) public hearings, and (iii) opinions from an independent organisation. On the same day, a motion for injunction was filed requesting that any project approved after August 24 2007, effective date of the 2007 Constitution, be suspended.

In September 2009, the court issued an injunction suspending 76 projects. Subsequently, there were a number of appeals, following which a number of projects were released from the injunction for a variety of reasons. Some project sponsors withdrew altogether. Most project sponsors suspended construction, pending resolution of the matter.

On August 31 2010, the cabinet approved a notification listing 11 projects or activities that may cause severe impacts on communities, which are subject to strict compliance with section 67(2).

It is expected that appeals against the September 2 2010 court decision will be filed, but most project sponsors are confident that their projects (having received standard environmental agency approvals and regulatory approvals) will be allowed to proceed.

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