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Thai Court Keeps Projects Frozen on Environmental Concerns

A Thai court ruled that dozens of industrial projects in the country’s east must remain suspended because of environmental concerns, a decision that disappointed markets and may weigh on economic growth and the earnings of two of Thailand’s largest conglomerates next year. The Supreme Administrative Court on Wednesday approved 11 projects to proceed, but said that 65 others must remain halted.

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A Thai court ruled that dozens of industrial projects in the country’s east must remain suspended because of environmental concerns, a decision that disappointed markets and may weigh on economic growth and the earnings of two of Thailand’s largest conglomerates next year.

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The ruling comes after the government appealed a decision by the Administrative Court in late September to issue an injunction to suspend 76 projects valued at 400 billion baht ($12.06 billion) in the Map Ta Phut industrial estate in Rayong province after environmentalists argued that the permits approved by the government violated the constitution.

The Supreme Administrative Court on Wednesday approved 11 projects to proceed, but said that 65 others must remain halted.

An industrial plant in Map Ta Phut

An industrial plant in Map Ta Phut

The court said all projects being developed by Siam Cement PCL will remain on hold.

The company, Thailand’s largest industrial conglomerate in terms of sales, has previously said that along with its partners, it has 106 billion baht worth of projects under suspension at the estate.

A major gas separation plant being developed by Thailand’s largest energy conglomerate, PTT PCL, was among those approved by the court, company spokesman Attaphol Lertpiboon said. A Euro 4 emission standard project by PTT Aromatics & Refining PCL will also go ahead, he said.

via Thai Court Keeps Projects Frozen on Environmental Concerns – WSJ.com.

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