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Transport minister vows to press ahead with land bridge mega project

Transport minister vows to press ahead with land bridge mega project
Written by World Events

Transport ministry will press ahead with the land bridge project, to link a deep-sea port in Ranong  on the west coast with a deep-sea port in Chumphon on the east coast by rail and motorway systems, to facilitate goods shipments to destinations beyond Thailand without going through the Straits of Malacca.

Transport Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit said it is estimated that the massive project will cost about one trillion baht. Each seaport will be capable of handling 20 million cargo containers, or TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit), per year.

Suriya said that the project is now being studied by the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning, adding that the Prayut administration had decided that the project will be entirely private sector funded, while the government will provide land for the two deep-sea ports and for the road and rail routes.

The transport minister said potential investors from China and France did show interest in the project when it was initiated some years ago, but the ministry has not heard from them since.

He added, however, that he might hold roadshows abroad to revive interest among potential foreign investors.

Panya Chupanich, director of the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning, said that his office is studying the project carefully, to ensure it is of the utmost benefit for the country and the people.

He expects the environmental and health impact assessment (EHIA) of the project to be completed in the middle of next year.


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