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Thai Cabinet approves pipeline

Received: (from strider) by igc2.igc.apc.org (8.7.5/8.7.3) id HAA13417; Tue, 7 May 1996 07:24:19 -0700 (PDT)
Date: Tue, 7 May 1996 07:24:19 -0700 (PDT)

The Southeast Asian Information Network (SAIN) received the following 
information this evening.

At its 7th May Cabinet meeting the Thai Government today gave endorsement 
of the Petroleum Authority of Thailand to operate the 16,500 million baht 
Gas Pipeline Project from Burma as proposed by the Industry Ministry.  
The Cabinet has given the exemption to lay the pipeline passing through 
an A-1 watershed area and also approved in principle to compensate the 
villagers not holding the legal title deeds and living along the pipeline 
route.  Exemption of counter trade for the project was also approved.  
The Petroleum Authority of Thailand has signed the contract with Burma to 
purchase the natural gas from Yadana Field by which the operation will 
start on July 1998.

The A-1 class watershed that the release refers to is the highest 
classification you can have for a watershedin Thailand. This area is also 
sheduled to become Tanaosri National Park.  Also in the area are wildlife 
sanctuaries, and forest reserves which will make this part of the Western 
forest complex the largest conservation area in Mainland Asia 

Unlike Burma, Thailand has conducted an EIA though there are many 
disturbing reports of inefficiency coming through related to the 
investigation.  The EIA has been submitted three times for review and 
three times it has been sent back. 

SAIN and Earthrights International are currently compiling a new report 
on the pipeline project and we will ensure you are updated and informed 
as to what this decision means for the Thai side of the project.