Author Topic: Korat: "Prototype for Integrated Food, Energy, and Industrial Production"  (Read 1599 times)

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Offline Johnnie F.

Nakhon Ratchsima Province: A Prototype for Integrated Food, Energy, and Industrial Production (04/10/2010)
Commonly referred to as Khorat, Nakhon Ratchasima province in northeastern Thailand has been selected as a prototype for integrated food, energy, and industrial production.

The pilot project is carried out jointly by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, the Ministry of Energy, and the Ministry of Industry. Emphasis is placed on the production of high-quality tapioca.

Tapioca is a drought-tolerant cash crop grown mainly in the Northeast. It can be developed into ethanol, which is a biofuel source and is environment-friendly. Thailand has tried to increase the percentage of ethanol blended with gasoline in order to reduce costs and promote the use of agricultural resources for energy production. The Government has set the use of alternative energy in its national agenda by promoting the production of alternative energy, especially biomass and biofuel, such as gasohol and biodiesel, to enhance energy security.

Under the pilot project, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives provides farmers with knowledge about proper cultivation of tapioca for high yields. The Ministry of Industry gave them support for processing tapioca into food products and energy. Then the Ministry of Energy will introduce them to the process of producing ethanol and other alternative sources of energy. Energy Minister Wannarat Channukul said that the project would be expanded to other provinces, as well, in order to stabilize the planting of food and energy crops.

Nakhon Ratchasima, the prototype for integrated food, energy, and industrial production, is now the largest province in Thailand in terms of area. It is the second-largest province, after Bangkok, in terms of population.

Located 256 kilometers northeast of Bangkok, Nakhon Ratchasima is a great place to start exploring Khmer-style temples in Thailand. It is the cradle of an old civilization and rich cultural and historical heritage. This province has been designated as the gateway to the Northeast and Indochina.
Nakhon Ratchasima is also recognized as Thailand’s center of alternative energy production. Its claim to fame is that the province is the largest base of renewable power generated from the sun and from garbage and agricultural produce, particularly tapioca and sugar cane.

Today, Nakhon Ratchasima is home to Thailand’s largest wind turbine power plant, which is located on the upper reservoir of Lam Takhong dam. A study found that the area is potentially ideal for setting up wind turbines because it is mountainous, isolated from communities, and open to the annual northeastern and southwestern monsoons, which yield an average wind speed of five to six meters a minute.

The Lam Takhong wind turbine power plant is just part of the increasing development of wind energy in Thailand. The plant is expected to be a new tourist destination and landmark for Nakhon Ratchasima, while promoting the country’s green energy policy.

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