Prime Minister orders land bridge project to go forward

Prime Minister orders land bridge project to go forward

วันที่นำเข้าข้อมูล 1 Nov 2023

วันที่ปรับปรุงข้อมูล 1 Nov 2023

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It isn’t quite the Panama Canal, but Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin earlier this month ordered the Ministry of Transport to expedite the construction of a land bridge connecting Thailand’s coasts so global shippers will have an alternative to passing through the pirate-infested Malacca Straits.

For decades Thai governments, policymakers and economists have raised the idea of either a canal or a land bridge connecting the two coasts along the Kingdom’s southern peninsula. It would be arguably the biggest infrastructure megaproject in Thailand’s history in terms of size and cost at an estimated $25 billion.

The land bridge would consist of a super highway and a rail line to transport goods between ports in western Ranong on the Andaman Sea/Indian Ocean and eastern Chumphon on the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea. The goal would be to save several days for ships by not having to sail further south around Singapore.

"The premier has instructed the Transport Ministry to expedite the project, studied earlier by the previous government, turning it into a megaproject to boost the economy. The Transport Ministry will complete the inspection of the construction site by April next year," said Karom Polpornklang, Deputy Government Spokesperson.

The government will seek the participation of foreign investors to build the land bridge, Karom said. Road shows overseas are being organized for November through January and he said bidding for elements of the project would take place between April and June next year.

Among the projects for which the Kingdom will seek investment, aside from the road and rail portions, are the ports that will be built in Ranong and Chumphon at each end of the land bridge.

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