Bangkok (September 28, 2012): The National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Chulalongkorn University, the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) and Fujitsu Limited have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to implement the VOCs Monitoring and Environmental Information Management System (VM-EIMS) at Map Ta Phut to promote sustainable industrialization in Thailand.

The signing ceremony for this initiative was witnessed by the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Industry, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Education, on the Thai side and representatives from the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), on the Japanese side.

The 2-year VM-EIMS project has been approved by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) with financial backing of 171 million Yen or 67 million Baht. The project will be run through NEDO, which recently appointed Fujitsu Limited as the Japanese representative working with the partner agencies in Thailand. More than 50 million Baht will also be invested by the Thai side in the monitoring stations, VOCs sensors and VOCs model research during the next 3 years.

The project consists of:
1.  Establishing five new air quality monitoring stations with VOCs sensing systems in the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate and installing additional ozone and odor sensing systems in three stations located in the residential area nearby.

2. Setting up a data-collection unit at the Environmental Monitoring & Control Center at the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate and installing an advanced system for management of data collection and analysis at the Central Data Repository and Analysis Unit of the Center of Excellence on Hazardous Substance Management, Chulalongkorn University. The project also covers real time display of VOCs exposure in the Map Ta Phut environment to alert officials at the earliest opportunity to any problems.

3. Creating risk prediction models and risk communications to boost trust and public confidence.

The VM-EMIS project represents close cooperation between the Thai and Japanese governments and realizes the importance of technology and research in dealing with environmental problems. The ultimate goal of the project is to instill confidence among investors and the local communities.

In 2010, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Industry, the Federation of Thai Industry and the Association of Thai Professionals in America and Canada signed an MOU on dealing with environmental crises at industrial estates.

The group also drafted an action plan for dealing with such cases using science and technology as tools for achieving set goals. This action plan helped to put the issue of potential environmental problems at industrial estates such as Map Ta Phut onto the national agenda. The latest cooperation between Thailand and Japan on the VM-EIMS initiative seeks to implement that dialog and further extend Thailand's abilities to ensure safe operation of industrial zones.