His Majesty the King’s Initiative on Renewable Energy
For the past 20 years the world has been faced with an energy crisis. As the problem became more severe, it imposed a serious impact on Thailand owing to its need for tremendous oil imports. In 2000, the cost of the imported oil reached 258,172 million baht, with up to 12,133 million baht paid for diesel oil alone, which is an important factor for the industrial, agricultural and transportation sectors. This led Thailand to a trade deficit and raised the prices of consumer products, which in turn had caused people to suffer.
Recognizing the problem promoted His Majesty the King to seek methods for renewable energy production to benefit the people and national development at large. In the beginning, he initiated a study on the use of wind, water and sunlight energy to be used at royal development projects. Later, he granted another initiative to study the use of agricultural products to replace oil. This study concerned production of gasohol to mix with low octane benzene to increase the octane value. Importantly, His Majesty granted an initiative to conduct a study on the use of palm oil to replace diesel oil used by machines. This led to the establishment of the Royally-Initiated Project for Improvement of Small-sized Palm Oil Industry at the Pikul Thong Royal Development Study Center, which is under the responsibility of Office of the Royal Development Projects Board (RDPB), in Muang district of Narathiwat district.
In 2000, the Chaipattana Foundation was commissioned by His Majesty the King to give financial support to the study on the use of palm oil. He also suggested that the use of palm oil in the diesel engine be experimented at Aow Luek Settlement Cooperative, Krabi province, and at the Pikun Thong Royal Development Study Center.
The Chaipattana Foundation, in collaboration with Office of the Royal Development Projects Board (RDPB) and Prince of Songkhla University, had shaped a guideline for the implementation of two following sub-projects in response to His Majesty's initiative.
The Project for Palm Oil Substitute in Agricultural Machines
The Project for of Palm Oil Extract Plant at Aow Luek Settlement Co-Operative in Krabi Province
Chaipattana Foundation’s Key Projects for Renewable Energy
Vegetable Oil Refining and Bio-Diesel Integrated Production Plant
Location: Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khirikhan Province
In response to His Majesty’s initiative on renewable energy, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn assigned the Chaipattana Foundation to carry out experimental study on oil palm cultivation and other plants for alternative energy. Particularly, she requested that a crude palm oil production plant be set up by using the projects at the Pikul Thong Royal Development Study Center and the Aow Luek Settlement Co-Operative as the prototypes.
As the result, the Chaipattana Foundation in 2006 began to develop an area within the Chaipattana-Mae Fah Luang Project in Hua Hin District of Prachuap Khirikhan province into the Vegetable Oil Refining and Bio-diesel Integrated Production Plant, which now serves as a model for environmentally-friendly bio-diesel production.
Palm Cultivating Demonstration Project at the Chaipattana-Mae Fah Luang Project
Location: Cha-Am District, Petchaburi Province / Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khirikhan Province
In collaboration with the Land Development Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, the Chaipattana Foundation had developed land for palm cultivation at the the Chaipattana-Mae Fah Luang Project in Prachuab Kirikhan province in 2005. The project implemented in response to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s request for oil palm study and cultivation in deserted land donated to the Chaipattana Foundation around the country. Initially, 4,080 palm trees were planted in an 80 acre-piece of land within the Chaipattana-Mae Fah Luang Project in Prachuap Khirikhan Province.