Industrial estate operators remain confident that most of Prachin Buri's Kabin Buri district is safe from floods despite certain areas being hit by the worst inundation in a decade.
As well, the operators have played down the threat of their Ayutthaya estates becoming flooded again, saying measures have been implemented to prevent a repeat of the 2011 disaster.
Thavich Taychanavakul, managing director of the Hi-Tech Industrial Estate, said only the river banks in Kabin Buri are submerged, while the site of the new Hi-Tech park there is significantly above sea level and thus safe from flooding.
"Like Ayutthaya, this part of Prachin Buri floods each year, but the water normally drains quickly," he said.
Hi-Tech Kabin Logistics is located 20 metres above sea level, significantly higher than industrial estates in Ayutthaya and Greater Bangkok, which are normally 1.5 to 2 metres above sea level, said Mr Thavich.
The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department said 21 provinces including Prachin Buri are now experiencing flooding due to heavier-than-usual monsoon rains.
The Hi-Tech park in Ayutthaya was among those inundated during the devastating floods in 2011 that killed more than 800 people.
Causing massive disruption to industry, the disaster prompted industrial estate operators to look for drier locations, with Prachin Buri attracting many investors.
Mr Thavich insists Hi-Tech Kabin Buri is safe and said some investors looking at the estate, mainly auto-parts makers, want to relocate from flood-prone areas in the Central Plains.
The 1,100-rai Hi-Tech Kabin is 90% developed and 800 rai has sold, he said.
At present, three industrial estates operate in Prachin Buri, with Hi-Tech and Rojana still under development.
Honda Automobile, whose Ayutthaya factory was hit by the 2011 floods, has begun building a new plant at Rojana Industrial Park in this eastern province.
Amara Charoengitwattanagun, the director of Rojana Industrial Park Plc, said the company's new 4-billion-baht estate in Prachin Buri's Si Maha Phot district will not be hit by flooding.
Meanwhile, Rojana's Ayutthaya estate is now safe after erection of a new flood wall reaching nearly seven metres above sea level, a full five metres higher than the old one, she said.
During the 2011 disaster, the flood level peaked at below five metres.
"We're working closely with water expert Team Consultant to monitor the situation every day and check on information such as how much water will be diverted from other areas and how much released from dams," Ms Amara told the Bangkok Post.
She said factories located in the estate are given regular updates on this latest situation so they can plan their measures accordingly should any threats arise.
Risinee Sarikaputra, research and consultancy director at the property consultant Knight Frank Chartered (Thailand), agreed new flooding will not affect the industrial estates in Kabin Buri thanks to their higher elevation.
Most of the flooded areas in the district are on the plains and in the main town, while no factories or industrial estates are located by the river, she said.
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Writer: Nareerat Wiriyapong & Kanana Katharangsiporn