European bioplastic veteran Corbion cites the country’s strategic access to APAC markets as a key reason behind its latest $100 million investment in Thai bioplastics production. Unstated are the benefits of an increasingly skilled talent pool of local engineers, material scientists, and technicians.

Bio Energy as a Blueprint

As developing economies continue to grow, so too does their thirst for energy. Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand are all building liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals to ensure uninterrupted supplies as regional demand picks up. But renewable energy resources like biomass and biogas are growing in importance as a more sustainable way to address supply pressures.

Bio-based solutions are a natural fit for Thailand, given the huge amounts of eco waste produced by the country’s agricultural sector. Domestic sugar producer Mitr Phol is one leader— it now powers several processing plants with steam turbines that run on burned burn leftover sugarcane waste. Early success has convinced the firm to diversify into dedicated biomass power plants that run on rice waste as feedstock as well.

Biogas is equally promising, with a number of foreign players building new plants in Thailand. Singapore and Irish-backed Asia Biogas now converts palm oil by-products into renewable biogas for power generation.  Japanese fiber expert Toray is building a new plant that is expected to produce bio-ethanol using half as much energy as current standard. And new Thailand 4.0 incentives should help smooth the way for more foreign direct investment and biogas adoption; land ownership permissions and corporate income tax exemptions certainly help sweeten the finances behind these deals.

But stepping back, innovation in biogas and bioplastics can be seen as a road map for other heavy industries overdue for environmental modernization. Thailand—with its dreamy beaches and lush tropical landscapes—understands the value of unspoiled nature better than many of its peers.

Advances in green technologies and bio processes will be critical in mitigating the once inevitable environmental damages of industrial activity. And as these efforts scale up, so too will their financial sustainability. Like Thailand, countries that seed a green innovation ecosystem today will help prepare their economies and environments from the urgent demands of tomorrow.

For more information about the benefits that Thailand might offer your business, visit the

Thailand Board of Investment

, which showcases resources and programs that create opportunities across a range of industries.

This article was produced on behalf of the Thailand Board of Investment by Quartz Creative and not by the Quartz editorial staff.

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