SPRC pays 36 Samet fishermen THB45,000 each for oil spill
Star Petroleum Refining (SPRC) on Tuesday paid 36 Koh Samet fishermen a compensation of 45,000 baht each for an oil spill in Rayong’s Phe subdistrict, a news source reported.
The company was responsible for thousands of litres of oil leaking into the sea from its underwater pipeline off the coast of Map Ta Phut more than once since January 25, affecting fishery communities and other businesses in Rayong.
Negotiations with 48 fishery groups last week, in which SPRC offered to pay compensation of 30,000 baht to each affected person, ended in rejection, prompting the company to increase the payout to 45,000 baht per person.
The groups had reportedly demanded up to 360,000 baht for each affected fisherman. This calculation is based on 1,000 baht compensation per day for a year.
The compensation paid to the 36 Koh Samet fishermen on Tuesday totalled 1.62 million baht.
SPRC reportedly said the compensation had no obligations attached and that the next round of payments for fishermen in other areas would follow “soon” until every group of Rayong fishermen was compensated.
Meanwhile, Rayong Governor Charnna Iamsaeng said on Tuesday that it was a good sign some fishery communities in Rayong had agreed to accept the compensation offered by the company, while others who were not satisfied with the amount could pursue a class-action lawsuit.
“So far, 2,660 fishermen in Rayong have registered with the province as affected persons from this oil spill incident,” Charnna said. “If all agreed to the 45,000 baht payout, SPRC would have to disburse a total of 119.7 million baht as compensation.”
SPRC will also compensate affected persons in other occupations at 15,000, 24,000 or 30,000 baht each depending on their profession and the size of their business. So far, 765 people in the hotel and restaurants business have registered with the province, while some 5,500 persons in other occupations, like shop owners, hawkers, and public vehicle drivers who operate on Mae Ramphueng Beach, have registered to receive compensation.
The news source reported that in a preliminary survey about 90 per cent of affected persons in Rayong were satisfied with the compensation being offered by SPRC, but they urged the company to speed up payments as people need the money to restart their business after the impact of the oil spill.