Bangkok Post – The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Policy Committee has approved feasibility studies on three new development projects worth a combined 1.18 trillion baht, aiming to create connectivity between the government’s flagship EEC and regional industry.
The three new projects are a trio of dry ports worth a combined 24 billion baht in Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima and Chachoengsao; a deep-sea port, motorway and double-track rail development network linking the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea worth 168 billion; and the Thai Bridge Project (Saphan Thai) worth 990 billion.
The three dry ports will be developed to link the EEC with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and China. The committee expects the linkage strategy will mean an additional 2 million containers to Laem Chabang port.
The committee chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha agreed the development of three new projects will help strengthen the competitiveness of the EEC and create a link between the EEC and similar regional development projects.
EEC Office secretary-general Kanit Sangsubhan said his office has been tasked with handling the feasibility studies of the three projects.
Mr Kanit said the office aims to complete the study on Chachoengsao dry port worth an estimated 8 billion baht by 2021, with construction taking another two years.
Studies on two other dry ports in Khon Kaen and Nakhon Ratchasima worth a combined 16 billion baht are scheduled to be completed in 2022 and take two years to construct.
The three dry ports will be developed to link the EEC with Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and China. The committee expects the linkage strategy will mean an additional 2 million containers to Laem Chabang port.
For the network development between the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea, Mr Kanit said the government has already approved a budget in fiscal 2021 worth 68 million baht to conduct a feasibility study on four projects.
The projects are a Chumphon-Ranong deep-sea port upgrade worth 15 billion baht; a motorway to link Chumphon and Ranong worth 45 billion; a new double-track rail linking Pan Thong district in Chon Buri and Nong Pladuk junction in Ban Pong district, Ratchaburi worth 95 billion; and a double-track rail linking Prachuap Khiri Khan and Chumphon worth 12.5 billion.
The Chumphon-Ranong deep-sea port upgrade and the motorway to link Chumphon and Ranong are scheduled to be completed by 2025, while the construction of the new double-track rail linking Pan Thong and Nong Pladuk in Ratchaburi are slated for 2027.
The double-track rail linking Prachuap Khiri Khan and Chumphon is now under construction and scheduled to be completed in 2021.
The three dry ports, coupled with the proposed East-South ‘Thai Bridge’ project will provide great economic benefits to Cambodia.
Travelling or transporting cargo from southern China through Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam to Thailand where passengers and goods will be delivered onward via the Thai Bridge route to either Phetchaburi or Prachuap Khiri Khan and then on to seaports in Ranong on the Andaman coast will bypass the Malacca Strait, which will lower the transport costs and greatly benefit investments in Thailand’ s while the spill over effects of this will also bring immense benefits to Cambodia. Bangkok Post
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