By THE NATION
By showcasing the “Bio-energy for All” concept at the Thailand Pavilion, the ministry hopes to accumulate international partners for the development of this industry.
Energy Minister Anantaporn Kanjanarat said the Astana Expo would be held under the main theme “Future Energy” from June 10 to September 10. He said he was confident that the Thailand Pavilion, or Sala Thai, would be one of the most visited pavilions at the expo with more than 500,000 guests.
“Thailand has potential for [developing] bio-energy because we are a plentiful nation with an abundance of agricultural products,” he said.
“To show the world our potential, the ministry will showcase information, knowledge and understanding of bio-energy as well as the link between agriculture and energy development. Thailand’s progress in developing bio-energy is because of the dedication of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, also known as the father of Thai energy, as he developed many energy-related projects.
“Today, the Ministry of Energy has a policy to support innovation and R&D related to energy development to expand and further Thailand’s energy industry.
“This expo will also offer us a chance to promote Thailand’s tourism industry and food-production capacity, which has earned us the reputation of being the world’s kitchen, as well as strengthening our relationship with countries around the world, especially with Kazakhstan and [other] CIS countries,” that is, members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
“We will bring into the expo the royal projects initiated by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej in the development of alternative energies to make them known to the world community.
“The expo is in line with the Thai government’s intentions shown at the climate conference in Paris in 2015 to reduce the greenhouse gas [emissions] by 20 per cent by 2030 with the focus on alternative energy development,” he said.
Kazakhstan’s economy is not |yet considered diversified, as its income mainly depends on exporting energy.
Meanwhile, its agricultural economy remains small, with production insufficient for domestic consumption, so massive amounts of food and agricultural products must be imported. This is a great opportunity for Thailand, which has massive amounts of food and agricultural products, to export its goods to Kazakhstan, including halal products, as around half of the population is Muslim.
Areepong Bhoocha-Oom, permanent secretary of the Energy Ministry, said: “The Thailand Pavilion … aims to convey to visitors [information] about an energy-sustainable future and Thailand’s potential for developing alternative energy and advances in developing bio-energy.”
He said the 974.67-square-metre pavilion would be divided |into two floors and would use the edutainment concept to present content in three main exhibition halls.
The first hall will present a live exhibition of the Thai ways of life and the country’s unique natural assets and culture, and its commitment to developing alternative energy.
The second hall will use a 3D theatre to tell about a test laboratory and the use of maize as a future source of energy.
The third hall will feature an interactive exhibition of how bio-energy is derived from nine biomass crops.
The second floor of the Thailand Pavilion will house the VIP reception zone, food stalls, a coffee shop and an area for business matching and investment clinics, as well as demonstrating Thai massage.
Areepong said construction of the pavilion was 90 per cent complete, with only the interior needing more work. He believes it will be one of the 10 national pavilions completed before the deadline. It should be ready for the system-checking process next month and be fully ready to welcome the world by June 10.
Public relations for the pavilion has been receiving a good response in Kazakhstan as Thailand has been conducting roadshows and other schemes using the VR 360 technique together with Palang, the pavilion’s mascot, to appeal to locals in the country’s two big cities, Astana and Asmati Almaty.