Tesla's factory in Thailand hindered by industrial park size restrictions


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The Thai government has reached out to the electric vehicle giant Tesla, reportedly assisting in the search for a site for its factory. However, Thai media indicating that existing national or private industrial park sizes are too small to meet Tesla's requirements. Industry insiders suggest that Tesla may produce battery locally.

According to Thai media outlet Thansettakij, the source said that Tesla considering investing Thailand at the end of 2023 with the condition of 320 hectares land area. However, the maximum size of existing industrial parks ranges from 160 hectares to 320 hectares. Therefore, either the available land is not large enough, or existing businesses would need to find alternative locations, allowing Tesla to independently establish its presence.

The report cited the Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD as an example, stating that the initial land area used was 96 hectares, allowing for the quick identification of a suitable location.

It is rumored that Tesla is considering the Lat Krabang district, located east of the capital Bangkok and near Suvarnabhumi International Airport. However, this area lacks an industrial park, and it remains uncertain whether it complies with regulations of city development, so a final decision has not been made.

Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, following his visit to the United States in November last year and discussions with senior executives from Tesla, stated his commitment to facilitating Tesla's investment in Thailand. However, facing obstacles, Thavisin has instructed Minister of Industry Pimpattra Wichaikul to discuss with the Department of Public Works, Town & Country Planning, hoping to resolve urban planning issues in the Lat Krabang district.

According to the analysis by the Board of Investment (BOI) of Thailand, the number of land lease and purchase investment applications in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and related industrial zones continues to grow, reflecting optimism towards the Thai market. However, concerns have been raised regarding unfavorable industrial zone planning, prompting many calls for the government to address these issues.

Suraphong Paisitpattanaphong, Vice Chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), stated in an interview with "The Standard Wealth" that establishing a factory for Tesla in the Lat Krabang district would be challenging. "If Tesla requires such a large plot of land, they may consider building a battery factory or other manufacturing facilities. The scale of BYD’s electric vehicle factory alone is equivalent to an entire industrial park," he said.

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