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Dr. Chana Poomee and Dr. Kitipong Promwong Spearhead Saraburi’s Transformation into a Low Carbon City

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Imagine the bustling heartland of Saraburi, Thailand, traditionally known for its cement production, now stepping boldly into the future with an ambitious vision to transform into a pioneering low carbon city. This transformation is led by two remarkable figures: Dr. Chana Poomee, the visionary Chairman of the Thai Cement Manufacturers Association (TCMA), and Dr. Kitipong Promwong, the innovative Director of the Office of National Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Policy Council (NXPO). Together, they’ve embarked on a groundbreaking journey under the banner of the “Memorandum of Understanding on Collaborative Action on Climate Change to Develop a Net Zero Emission Innovation Zone in SARABURI SANDBOX.”

With a handshake and shared commitment, Dr. Poomee and Dr. Promwong are not just signing a document; they’re writing a new chapter in the fight against climate change. This MOU is not merely a formal agreement, but a catalyst for change, signaling a significant leap forward in the battle to curb carbon emissions. The SARABURI SANDBOX is set to become a beacon of innovation, where the cement industry evolves with cutting-edge technologies and sustainable practices, aiming right at the heart of Thailand’s 2050 Net Zero Cement and Concrete ambitions.

Dr. Poomee, with the poise and insight of a true leader, laid out the first venture under this daring collaboration – the ‘CO2 to Methanol’ project. Picture this: a world where CO2, once a notorious villain in the climate saga, is now a valuable asset, turning into Methanol through the alchemy of technology. This isn’t just about minting green from the green economy; it’s about reshaping the entire landscape of SARABURI SANDBOX. By embracing Carbon Capture Utilisation (CCU) technology, the cement sector is poised to form a robust CO2 value chain, potentially reducing Thailand’s greenhouse gas emissions by a staggering 12 million tonnes annually. This initiative is a game-changer, aiming to revolutionize sustainable production processes, valorize CO2 and waste, and cut emissions, all in one fell swoop.

On the other side of the partnership, Dr. Promwong shed light on the backdrop of this monumental MOU, narrating NXPO’s role as the guiding star for Thailand’s technological voyage under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). With the grace of a seasoned diplomat, Dr. Promwong emphasized the critical role of technology and innovation in achieving Net Zero Emissions. He pointed out how yearly engagements at the Conference of the Parties (COP) have underpinned the crucial need for internal innovation and technology to scale down the dependency on foreign climate solutions. SARABURI SANDBOX is envisioned as the ultimate proving ground, demonstrating Thailand’s determination and capability in steering towards a sustainable and innovative future. This effort is poised to not only boost Thailand’s technological prowess but also to position Saraburi, a province synonymous with cement, at the forefront of the energy transition narrative.

Dr. Poomee eloquently wrapped up the discussion, drawing a vivid picture of a collaborative pathway that TCMA and NXPO are laying down. This pathway doesn’t just lead to the development of innovation and technology; it’s a journey towards a tangible transition to Net Zero Emissions. SARABURI SANDBOX is not merely envisaged as a project site; it’s the cradle of innovation where technology, creativity, and financial resources converge at both national and international fronts, setting the stage for a bright, green, and sustainable future.

In the heart of Thailand, something extraordinary is happening. The SARABURI SANDBOX, with its tale of transformation from a cement industry stronghold to a Net Zero Emission innovation powerhouse, stands as a testament to what can be achieved when vision meets action. Dr. Poomee and Dr. Promwong aren’t just altering the course of an industry; they are crafting a legacy for generations to come, where sustainability and progress walk hand in hand.


  1. EcoWarrior May 3, 2024

    This is groundbreaking! Using CO2 as a resource rather than treating it simply as a waste product could revolutionize industries beyond cement. It’s about time we saw such innovative approaches to climate change.

    • Skeptic101 May 3, 2024

      Sounds good on paper, but how feasible is it really? The tech for carbon capture and utilization has been around, yet it’s not widespread. There’s gotta be a reason why it’s not being adopted faster. Maybe cost, maybe efficiency?

      • TechGuru May 3, 2024

        You have a point, Skeptic101. The technology’s efficiency and the economics play a huge role. Current CCU technologies are expensive and energy-intensive, which is why they’re not more widespread. But innovations and economies of scale can change that.

      • EcoWarrior May 3, 2024

        Exactly, TechGuru. And that’s why initiatives like SARABURI SANDBOX are so vital. They’ll pave the way for making these technologies more viable and cost-effective. It’s all about taking the first step, and they’re doing it.

    • GreenFuturist May 3, 2024

      I’m all for innovation, particularly in renewable energy and environmental projects, but isn’t there a risk that projects like these can give industries a ‘license to pollute’, thinking they can just capture their way out of their emissions?

  2. Historian May 3, 2024

    While this is indeed an exciting development, we should remember the lessons from history. Great technological leaps often come with unforeseen consequences. Ensuring these innovations do more good than harm is crucial.

    • Realist May 3, 2024

      Agree with you there. But sitting idle isn’t an option either, especially with the climate crisis looming over us. It’s about taking calculated risks and adjusting the course as we learn more.

  3. Optimist May 3, 2024

    The SARABURI SANDBOX project could be a beacon of hope for many industries and countries around the world. Thailand leading the way in greening one of its major industries is inspiring. International collaboration and support could amplify its success.

    • Patriot May 3, 2024

      Inspiring, yes, but let’s not forget the importance of maintaining our economic competitiveness. Transitioning to low carbon methods should not come at the expense of our industry’s growth or jobs.

      • Optimist May 3, 2024

        True, Patriot. But consider this: embracing such technologies not only combats climate change but can also drive economic growth by creating new green jobs and industries. It’s an investment in our future.

  4. LocalResident May 3, 2024

    I live in Saraburi, and while this sounds exciting, I’m curious about how it will affect our local community. Job security, environmental impacts, and whether we’re prepared for such a transformation are my main concerns.

    • EcoWarrior May 3, 2024

      LocalResident, those are valid concerns. It’s imperative for initiatives like these to work closely with local communities, ensuring the transition is beneficial socially, economically, and environmentally. Have there been any community meetings or forums on this?

  5. BudgetHawk May 3, 2024

    Who’s footing the bill for all this? Innovative, sure. But the implementation of ‘CO2 to Methanol’ projects and such aren’t exactly cheap. Taxpayers should not be left holding the bag if the return on investment falls short.

    • FinanceGeek May 3, 2024

      Good point, BudgetHawk. Sustainable financing models, like public-private partnerships, could be key here. It’s also about the long-term savings and revenue from such green innovations. Plus, international climate finance could play a role.

  6. ClimateKid May 3, 2024

    This is super cool! 🌍 It’s like turning bad stuff into good stuff. More projects should do this!

    • EcoWarrior May 3, 2024

      Right on, ClimateKid! Your enthusiasm is contagious. It’s about changing our mindset and seeing potential where we used to see problems. The future is bright if more projects indeed follow this example.

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