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Metal Casting Technologies : March 2010
14 www.metals.rala.com.au produces around 200 tonnes of castings per month in wear and heat resisting alloys such as High Mn steels, alloy white irons, Cr-Ni steels and Ni-Resists, etc. It is the major supplier to the William Wong Group in Thailand that manufactures and exports crushing equipment. A new fettling and casting finishing section has just been completed at Thai Alloy as part of a programme to eventually increase monthly production to 300 tonnes. Work is underway to install new heat treatment facilities, to expand the moulding & coremaking areas and to install a further induction melting unit. Mr. Navin Vongchankit, Marketing & Sales Manager, said that the company was working closely with the Dept. of Production Engineering at KMUTT to improve technical capability and productivity. In this way, he added, Thai Alloy can meet increasing competition, especially from China, and increase its exports to Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and other countries in SE Asia. Energy regulators meet in Bangkok amid concerns over energy and environmental issues The first Southeast Asian Energy Regulators conference was held in Bangkok during February. The event was hosted by the Energy Regulatory Commission of Thailand (ERC) under the theme of "Regulators respond to climate change". The role of the ERC of Thailand is to regulate electricity and natural gas business operations while promoting energy efficiency, sufficiency and stability and also protecting the rights of energy users (www.erc. or.th). Around 350 delegates from both the government and private sectors attended the event to discuss the way in which Energy Regulatory Authorities across SE Asia can develop the strategy and regulatory framework to face the challenges of climate change, and at the same time reduce green house gas emissions. Dr. Channukul, the Thai Minister of Energy commented that reducing GHG emissions is not the responsibility of any one nation but rests on the shoulders of all SE Asian countries. In Thailand there are concerns over future power supplies. Three projects for power generation are among the industrial developments currently suspended at the Map Ta Phut zone as a result of the legal confusion over the lack of adequate environmental and health impact guidelines. The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) said that the three new plants were scheduled to deliver 4,000 MW starting in 2014. The Map Ta Phut dispute began in September 2009 and currently some 65 projects worth around 400 billion baht are at a standstill. The Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok has warned that if the situation is not resolved many Japanese companies will consider reducing their investment in Thailand and may move their production bases to other countries. The dispute has also given Ford Motors second thoughts about going ahead with a new auto-plant to build passenger cars to be situated in Rayong province, next door to its existing Auto-Alliance Thailand joint venture plant with Mazda. The AAT plant has recently suffered from the effects of ongoing industrial labour conflicts. Board of Investment approval for the plant was given last year but in early February Ford said that a number of factors have still to be considered before the go-ahead for the new development is given. Under the Thai power development plan Thailand's first nuclear power plant would start supplying power in 2020. The feasibility study on possible sites is underway and is due to be completed in early 2011. If a nuclear power station is not built then electricity would have to be purchased from Laos and more coal and natural gas imported to expand conventional power generation. Meanwhile the largest wind turbine, capacity 1.5MW, in Thailand has just started operating in Nakhon Si Thammarat in the south. Further wind farms will be established at sites around the Gulf of Thailand and in the north. A 60MW wind farm is to be built in Phetchabun by Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding, the largest Thai power producer. Ratchaburi has invested in a number of new hydro-electric plants in Laos to start selling power in 3-5 years time. Solar Power Company also plans to build 34 solar farms to produce more than 200MW, the first of which is nearing completion with a capacity of 5.8MW. The government funding for renewable energy projects has been increased so there are now around 500 solar farm projects underway, the number four years ago was around 35. AFS Metalcasting industry award winners The American Foundry Society's (AFS) 2010 winners of the metalcasting industry's most prestigious awards were recently announced. The winners of the Thomas W. Pangborn Gold Medal, AFS Award BRIEFINGS Mr. Navin (nearest camera) examining castings with Dr. Sombun, a technical advisor from KMUTT, in the new fettling shop at Thai Alloy.
Media Kit 2010