Monday, October 1, 2007

Thailand's Board of Investment approves Honda plan

The Board of Investment yesterday approved a 6.7-billion-baht investment proposal by Honda Automobile (Thailand).

The Japanese automaker plans to spend 3.8 billion baht to expand existing facilities, as well as 2.9 billion for a new eco-car production line that can make up to 120,000 units per year.

The eco-car programme offers special incentives to carmakers producing cars with engines of up to 1,300cc and fuel consumption of less than five litres per 100 kilometres. Cars also must meet the Euro 4 emissions standards, which limit carbon dioxide to 120 grammes per kilometre.

At least half of Honda's eco-cars would be marketed locally with the rest exported to Asean, Asia-Pacific and European countries.

Other projects approved yesterday include a cut-and-blend metal factory for TT Steel Processing (Thailand) worth 1.5 billion baht, and a Double A Paper writing-paper plant worth 6.2 billion baht.

PTT Chemical's butene and propylene expansion projects worth 2.8 billion baht were approved, while parent PTT Plc received privileges for its 1.2-billion-baht, 30-megawatt hydroelectricity plant with steam output of 90 tonnes per hour.

Two companies received privileges for cargo transport services: the 3.7- billion-baht Hutchison Laem Chabang Terminal and the 2.5-billion-baht Map Ta Phut Tank Terminal.

However, the BoI also rejected six ethanol projects due to the prospect of an ethanol surplus.

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