Thai PM: Elon Musk 'keen to invest in Thailand'

Thai PM: Elon Musk 'keen to invest in Thailand'
PHOTO: Reuters

Tech tycoon Elon Musk is ready to seize investment opportunities in Thailand, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha revealed after the two men met at the cave rescue operation in Chiang Mai.

Prayut said yesterday that he had talked briefly with the American businessman at Chiang Rai airport during his visit to the northern province to follow up the operation to bring the Mu Pa academy footballers out of Tham Luang cave.

Musk flew directly from the United States and arrived in Chiang Rai on Monday night, a couple of days after his companies’ teams arrived to see how they could they provide technology to speed up the long rescue operation.

“[Musk] praised our operation and ability to control the scene. He is ready to support us with his technology,” Prayut said.

“They did go deep into the cave’s lobby. I asked him whether he could provide suitable equipment to help Thailand in future. He promised me [he would do so],” the premier added.

Prayut said that Thailand was ready to support Musk’s investment in the Kingdom, particularly on the hyped Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and regional connectivity.

“I told him about those and I think he was interested,” Prayut said. “He is looking at the EEC and is preparing satellite and communication projects. Why shouldn’t we seek matters of joint interest with them?”

on Twitter

Among high-tech ideas for the rescue operation was a miniature submarine to help carry the weakened boys out of the partially flooded cave, inflatable tubes with airlocks, radar location technology from Musk’s Boring Company and SpaceX and a Tesla Powerwall battery pack to charge up all electrical devices in the cave.

The items will all be left in Thailand after the operation is over for study and research purposes, according to Prayut.

 

This was confirmed by Musk, who tweeted yesterday morning that the “Wild Boar”, the mini-submarine named after the stranded football team, has been left “in case it may be useful in the future” in Thailand – which he called “so beautiful”.

on Twitter

The 47-year-old Silicon Valley billionaire had given updates via his Twitter account on his contact with Thai authorities, extending his staffs’ help, as well as developing and creating gadgets to use in the operation. “Primary path is basically a tiny, kid-size submarine using the liquid oxygen transfer tube of a Falcon rocket as hull. Light enough to be carried by 2 divers, small enough to get through narrow gaps. Extremely Robust,” Musk tweeted on Sunday.

Thai cave rescue: How each boy is extracted in complex process

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    The 10-km long Tham Luang cave, which has been described as a labyrinth, sits near the Thai border with Myanmar.

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    Rescue divers began operations on Sunday (July 8) to extract the 12 boys and their football coach from the massive Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

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    Here's how the 12 boys might dive and walk out of the complex cave network. (Graphic Not drawn to scale)

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    The boys are located more than 4km from the mouth of the cave. Most of the boys don't know how to swim.

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    According to experts, divers required three hours to reach the boys from the mouth of the cave, Reuters reported. The boys' ordeal is expected to last 3 or more hours.

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    This undated handout photo taken recently and released by the Royal Thai Navy on July 7, 2018 shows a Thai Navy diver in the cave during rescue operations.

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    The boys will have to first dive for 400m before reaching Pattaya Beach, a chamber more than 4km from the cave's entrance. Then, they have to dive for another 130m before walking and climbing along a 400m-long dry area.

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    The first, nearly 1km-long section from where the boys have been huddling in darkness is believed to be the most difficult, requiring a long dive and crawling through mud and debris, with some crevices barely wide enough for a person.

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    The 5-km escape route cuts through dark, flooded and narrow passageways, as this still from a video circulating online shows.

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    How each boy will be tethered to the 2 adult rescue divers. Once past the first stretch, the boys' escape route forks east at a T-junction, and they must scrabble over some diverse terrain including giant boulders, sand and slippery rocks with sudden cliff-like drops and further submerged passageways.

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    The biggest crisis spot is a 38-cm-wide crevice close to the T-junction, known as Sam Yaek Junction.

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    The biggest crisis spot is a 38-cm-wide crevice close to the T-junction, known as Sam Yaek Junction.

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    "The hole is really small, I have to take off my air tank to crawl through it," a 25-year-old Thai Navy Seal told Reuters before the rescue attempt. "As I do, I feel the edges of the hole on both my back and chest."

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    Rescue divers will have to remove their scuba tanks and roll them along while guiding the boys through. After that though, the tunnels widen, the waters subside, and walking is even possible.

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    There are several 'choke points' in the complex cave network. After the dreaded T-junction, the rest of the journey is expected to be relatively safe as they will have reached a forward operating base inside the cave.

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    Ambulances wait at the mouth of the cave to whisk the boys away to hospital when they emerge.

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    Divers resuming the rescue mission on Monday (July 9).

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    Police and military personnel use umbrellas to cover around a stretcher near a helicopter and an ambulance at a military airport in Chiang Rai on July 9, 2018.

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    Rescuers venturing into the cave in a photo released on July 7 by the Thai Royal Navy.

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    The high-risk operation at the Tham Luang caves paused overnight on Sunday (July 8) as rescuers recovered and oxygen tanks were replenished along the route.

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    Torchlight only affords visibility up to three feet in the murky waters.

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    A nearby hospital ready to receive the boys after they are rescued.

The following day, he posted videos of the submarine moving in a swimming pool in Los Angeles. “With some mods, this could also work as an escape pod in space,” he said.

However, head of the rescue operation, Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotanakorn, noted that the submarine was not “practical for the mission”.

“The equipment is technologically sophisticated but they don’t suit our cave rescue” he said.

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