Thai UNECE spearheads partnerships for sustainable development

BANGKOK, May 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Thailand The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) is set to become the new face of smart city development and sustainable solutions in Asiaamid a recently announced foreign partnership in its pilot biorefinery and early wins in its zero waste initiative.

The 3rd APEC Media Panel on “Advancing ECE Sustainability Initiatives: Getting to a BCG and Net-Zero Carbon Reality”

The recent developments were highlighted during the third APEC Media Focus (AMF) group, a press tour organized in Rayong province by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs intended to engage media representatives on Thailand vision and goals as a host economy for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit 2022.

As the host economy of APEC, Thailand advocates a bio-circular-green (BCG) economy model, and in the EEC we find concrete applications of this developing model. To adequately explain these concepts and initiatives, the press tour invited a panel of decision-makers and scientists involved in the multi-faceted enterprise

Read more about the 3rd APEC Media Panel on “Advancing ECE Sustainability Initiatives: Getting to a BCG and Net-Zero Carbon Reality” at https://fb.watch/cYmPlW_P1D/

The Eastern Economic Corridor in brief

the Eastern Economic Corridor is a territorial development initiative that aims to transform Thailand industrious east coast to advance 12 target industries, such as modern agriculture, biorefinery, modern automobile, aviation and logistics, medical, etc.

The EEC is implemented in three eastern provinces – Chonburi, Rayong and Chachoengsao – and includes the development of high-speed railways, a seaport, an airport and a university, as well as a multitude fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to attract foreigners. and private investment in key areas.

Within the EEC is the Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation (EECi)an innovation hub located in Rayong Wangchan Valley. The EECi aims to support the transformation Thailand in a country that thrives on innovation and improves the quality of life of its people through self-sufficiency and sustainability.

the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) partnered with a state oil and gas company PTT Public Company Limited develop 560 hectares in the Wangchan Valley as a smart township incorporating the latest advances in smart city development (eg smart grid, electric vehicle charging stations, etc.). The goal is for EECi to become one of the top 10 smart cities in the world by 2037.

BCG Economy in the EEC

the Bio-circular-green economy model is a national development and post-pandemic recovery strategy that was introduced by the Thai government to promote the sustainable and environmentally friendly consumption of Thailand rich biological resources. By applying BCG’s strategy to energy consumption, resource and waste management and the UNECE business ecosystem, the Development Corridor aims to achieve net zero emissions.

In terms of energy consumption, the EEC aims to move to 30% renewable and alternative energy supported by a power grid with robust energy storage capacity and to offset emissions through credit trading carbon.

In terms of resource and waste management, the EEC aims to eliminate waste in the development area within 12 years by building a network of waste-to-energy plants. The waste management initiative is expected to reduce waste in landfill areas by 50.72 hectares per year, thereby reducing and preventing greenhouse gas emissions normally resulting from landfills.

The EEC also planned to achieve international production standards under the green and circular economy, such as ISO 14021 / 14024 / 14025, to upgrade the overall business ecosystem.

High impact research

Some of the most innovative solutions that enable the BCG economy are taking place at Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology (VISTEC), which is in the Wangchan Valley Education Zone. VISTEC prioritizes “high impact research” with real-world applications.

For example, the C-ROS (Cash Return from ZeroWaste and Segregation of Trash) is “an integrative biotechnology platform” for the development of zero waste solutions. This includes incentivizing waste separation and developing technologies to turn organic waste into biochemicals and biofuels. Organic waste constitutes 50 to 65% of all waste produced in Asia and is difficult to incinerate due to its high water content.

Since 2018, C-ROS has been piloting food waste bioconversion systems capable of producing biogas for cooking and biofertilizers that reduce Thailand dependence on chemical fertilizers in the agricultural sector.

More recently, the NSTDA and Belgium-based Bio Base Europe pilot plant (BBEPP) jointly launched the Bio Base Asia Pilot Plant (BBAPP), a multi-purpose biorefinery pilot plant. The BBAPP is the first of its kind in Thailand and ASEAN and will serve to develop and scale sustainable and commercial bio-based products and processes. This allows local and international customers and organizations to perform feasibility analyzes before investing in a large-scale production facility.

The BBAPP is currently under construction at the “Biopolis” research center of the EECi and should be fully operational in 2024.

Promoting balanced and resilient growth

Despite the disruptions and uncertainties caused by a global pandemic unprecedented in its scale and impact, Thailand persisted in its program of economic growth and prosperity in the Asia Pacific Region. Leading by example, the Southeast Asian country has secured international joint ventures and continues to pioneer innovative approaches to becoming carbon neutral and pivoting to target industries.

Its Eastern Economic Corridor has set ambitious goals, but nothing less will do if APEC economies are to create opportunities to rebuild from the pandemic and meet the existential challenges of climate change.

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