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New electric ferries to ply the ‘Venice of the East’ in Bangkok

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New electric ferries to ply the ‘Venice of the East’ in Bangkok | The Thaiger
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by Kwanchai Rungfapaisarn

A 1 billion baht project is under consideration to transform Bangkok into the “Venice of the East” (again?) and help ease the city’s air pollution problems.

The project for electric-powered ferries to ply the Chao Phraya is backed by Energy Absolute, a Thai alternative energy technology provider, which yesterday said it will work with the Marine Department to introduce the service. The partners are hailing the project as a smart transport initiative.

Amorn Sapthaweekul, director and deputy chief executive officer of Energy Absolute, said the electric ferries, under the pilot stage of the project, will be on the river by the end of this year. The service will be operated by EA and its subsidiary Energy Mahanakorn Company, which will be in charge of manufacturing the EA Anywhere-branded charging stations for the vessels.

“We pride ourselves on being Thailand’s leading innovative alternative energy company, focusing on delivering cutting-edge technology and environmental friendly solutions for better living,” said Amorn.

“Today marks a significant milestone as we launch the first 100% Thai electric ferry prototype to be opened by the end of 2019. It aims to transform Thailand into a truly smart transport country, improving the standard of urban living quality and reducing pollution.”

Amorn said that after the introduction of the Thai-owned electric car, badged MINE Mobility in March last year, EA has expanded the use of its battery technology with the planned launch of electric ferries.

The vessels will run from the Nonthaburi Pier to Wat Rajsingkorn Pier. The 20km stretch of river will be covered in less than 40 minutes.

“We plan to build 54 electric vessels at an investment of 1 billion baht. The transport service with the electric boats will start at the end of this year and all 54 boats will be fully operational by February next year,” said Amorn.

“River transport can be used as another jigsaw connecting to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s entire public transportation network of electrical vehicles. The electric ferry project will return a good liveable city to the people of Bangkok, which is one of the most important tourism destinations in the country,” said Amorn.

The ferries, which are designed by EA, are being produced by a local supplier for the company under a subcontracting arrangement.

The ferries will run with electric energy supplied by a battery with a capacity of 800 kilowatt hours. The boats, 24 metres long by 7 metres across, will use battery technology developed by EA. They can hold about 200 passengers.

EA plans to set up a battery manufacturing plant in Chachoengsao for its electric vehicle projects.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai fire spikes air pollution up to 20 times ‘safe’ levels

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Chiang Mai fire spikes air pollution up to 20 times ‘safe’ levels | The Thaiger
PHOTO: khaosodenglish.com

A bushfire roaring away in the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park in Chiang Mai is causing continued concerns for Chiang Mai residents because of the dangers to nearby villages and the smoke filling the skies of the city. 500 local officials and soldiers from the 3rd Army Region were called in to fight the blaze and spent 14 hours bringing it under control, including calling in helicopters to drop water as they tried to control the spread.

It also pushed air pollution readings in the region up to record highs.

Chiang Mai fire spikes air pollution up to 20 times 'safe' levels | News by The Thaiger

The large fire, which started sometime early on Wednesday evening, has now been brought under control.

“The damage it left behind is extensive,” according to Chiang Mai’s governor, Charoenrit Sanguansat.

The bushfire sent PM2.5 levels in the immediate area to “record levels” of around 1,000 micrograms per cubic metre, a massive 20 times above levels considered safe in Thailand.

Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says he’s “gravely concerned by the fire in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park”, and ordered Interior Ministry officials to work with the Royal Thai Army to control any smaller fires and ordered helicopters to assist.

Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lampang and Mae Sot were all affected in the past few days as the result of the large forest fire, as well as hundreds of other plantation fires burning in the north, and over the border in Myanmar.

Chiang Mai fire spikes air pollution up to 20 times 'safe' levels | News by The Thaiger

airvisual.com

Pralong Dumrongthai, Pollution Control Department director-general, says the air pollution in the North can partly be blamed on fires across the border, and the government is working with Myanmar to help address the issue.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai smog reaches dangerous levels – 12 x ‘safe’ levels

The Thaiger

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Chiang Mai smog reaches dangerous levels – 12 x ‘safe’ levels | The Thaiger

As if the northern city doesn’t have enough to worry about with the coronavirus and scorching daily temperatures, residents are still having to face choking smoke and smog from, mostly, deliberately lit forest fires in the region.

PM2.5 levels in some areas soared up to 592 micrograms per cubic metre yesterday, more than ten times the ‘safe’ level.

This morning the situation is a bit better but the levels are still more than four time the Thai government’s safe level of ’50’, which is twice the World Health Organisation’s upper safe level of ’25’.

Chiang Mai smog reaches dangerous levels - 12 x 'safe' levels | News by The Thaiger

Readings from airvisual.com at 8am (Thai time)

The deputy governor of Chiang Mai province, Komsan Suwan-ampa, says though forest fires have been a chronic problem for more than a decade, this year’s situation was dire because fires had erupted in areas that are not accessible by firefighters and volunteers.

Bangkok Post reports that a fire erupted yesterday in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, to the north west of the main city, which had to be doused by helicopters. The fire-control centre reported that 218 hotspots in 18 districts in Chiang Mai have been detected by the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency.

The fires are certainly concentrated around north-west Thailand and, with the wind blowing in the wrong direction, can determine if Chiang Mai is going to have a bad day, or a very bad day. There is also a lot of the active fires nestled to the north of Chiang Mai, across the border in a poorly enforced region of Myanmar where thousands of meth labs operate, hidden under a thick forest canopy, for the illicit drug trade.

Chiang Mai smog reaches dangerous levels - 12 x 'safe' levels | News by The Thaiger

You can check out the live world fire maps HERE. We invite the northern Thailand government officials to do the same.

The director-general of the Pollution Control Department, Pralong Dumrongthai, says the forest fire hotspots in the North continue rising due to arson, open burning and pollution from bush fires set in neighbour countries.

“PM2.5 and PM10 particles will continue polluting the air. Six pollution control stations detected severely hazardous levels in their areas.”

The authorities are offering a 5,000 baht bounty and imposing such as 1 to 30 years in prison and fines of 10,000 to 3 million baht for the crimes.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | firms.modaps.eosdis.nasa.gov

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Air Pollution

Forest fire hikes up PM2.5 in Chiang Mai

Anukul

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Forest fire hikes up PM2.5 in Chiang Mai | The Thaiger
PHOTO: cm108.com

Yesterday some 200 firefighters were struggling on a Chiang Mai mountain slope to extinguish a forest fire that was pouring more hazardous PM2.5 smoke particles into the skies and, eventually, into the lungs of northern Thailand residents. And smoke from the forest and plantation fires, the vast majority deliberately lit, ends up in the capital when the winds are blowing in the right, or wrong, direction.

Read more HERE

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment sent up a helicopter to get more information so they can attempt to track down smoke, extinguish fires and prosecute land owners. Another helicopter made a total of 30 passes to extinguish a large fire on a mountain slope, with the help of 10 water tankers. It still took five hours to bring the fire under control.

Much of northern Thailand has been roasting with temperatures of 39 or 40 most of this week. And there’s been no rain, or little to no rain for many months.

It is believed that this inferno began as a small fire set by a local person seeking out edible plants in the mountain. The PM2.5 air pollution levels in the North ranged from 37-189 micrograms per cubic metre on Wednesday, with 50 micro grams the safe limit recognised in Thailand.

Today they were higher with Chinag Mai, again, scoring a podium position as one the cities in the world with the worst air pollution.

Forest fire hikes up PM2.5 in Chiang Mai | News by The ThaigerForest fire hikes up PM2.5 in Chiang Mai | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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