Marsan Public Company Limited held the public hearing to gain feedback on the project, which will see a new shipyard and boat repair yard built on 66 rai near Phuket Fishing Pier belonging to the Phuket Fishing Pier Fisheries Organization.
Marsan has been selected to develop the project.
Led by Somyot Wongboonyakul, President of the Phuket Fishermen’s Association, the 200-strong group of protesters held banners denouncing the project, accusing it of being conducted only for personal gain and claiming that Phuket’s fishing fleet did not need another shipyard.
The group urged the government to stop supporting the project, and asked for the shipyard to be built elsewhere.
Phatthawin Chongwisarn, Chief Executive Officer of Marson Public Company Limited, explained that the shipyard was to support the building and repair of fishing boats, cruise ships and yachts from the tourism industry.
The aim of the project was to have more vessels built and repaired in Phuket, instead of going outside the country to have shipworks completed abroad.
“In the past, our company has developed quality systems and certified standards in all aspects. Therefore, in developing a part of the area at the Phuket Fishing Port to become a shipyard and ship repair facility, we can be confident that we will be able to manage the project efficiently and provide quality work, and not affect the environment, and uphold the necessary occupational health and safety standards,” he said.
“The company has assigned Innovation Consultant Company Limited to prepare a report on the study of measures to prevent and correct the impact on the quality of life of local residents, protect the environment and uphold the safety of the project required in order to apply for a factory business license. If the villagers still do not agree, this will be further reviewed,” he said.
The project was one of the complaints presented to MP Rangsiman Rome, who is spokesman of the House of Law, Justice and Human Rights committee, during his visit to Phuket last month.
Also of note is that the project is to be built in Moo 1 Rassada, where local villagers have already held a protest calling for an investigation into allegations of corruption against village chief Maitri Duangchan.
“For 10 years as the village head, he has never held any public hearings about anything that affects us,” villager Suthon Pontha said during the protest last month.
“This headman never informed villagers about a construction project at Koh Siray that affected the lives of local residents. He also has asked for bribes from fishing pier owners and taxi drivers at the queues at a hotel on Koh Siray,” he alleged.