Transport Infrastructure Investment for the Future of Thailand
The Prime Minister reported the country’s transport investment to the people in his weekly national address and cited it as investment for the future.
Thailand is working with China in the development of a railway project, with medium-speed trains running between 160 to 180 kilometers per hour. The project is divided into four sections, with a total length of 873 km. The first section is from Bangkok to Kaeng Khoi, covering 133 km. The second section is from Kaeng Khoi to Map Ta Phut, with a length of 246.5 km. The third one covers 138.5 km from Kaeng Khoi to Nakhon Ratchasima, and the fourth one from Nakhon Ratchasima to Nong Khai, covering 355 km.
The development of this railway project will require a period of three years and a half. Construction of the first section, from Bangkok to Kaeng Khoi, and the third section, from Kaeng Khoi to Nakhon Ratchasima, will begin by December 2015.
According to the Prime Minister, both Thai and Chinese governments have set up a joint venture in the form of a special purpose vehicle (SPV). Thailand holds 60 percent of equity and China 40 percent. It is estimated that economic returns from this project will be at least 14.99 percent.
The construction contract by the two countries is in the form of EPC, or Engineering, Procurement, and Construction. China is responsible for construction surveying and design, while Thailand is in charge of checking the construction plan, construction costs, and cost-effectiveness and suitability, before all contracts are signed. Thailand will seek financial sources and be engaged in public works. It is also responsible for selecting Thai contractors and for basic construction, while China will be responsible for acquiring train equipment and maintenance.
As for the high-speed train project, Thailand is working with Japan on three routes. The first route, with a length of 672 km, is from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. The second route covers 193.5 km, from Bangkok to Rayong. The third route is from Bangkok to Hua Hin, with a length of 211 km.
The Prime Minister said that the private sector will be allowed to co-invest in the project, which is in the process of presenting results of the study to the Ministry of Transport before being submitted to the Cabinet for approval.
He believed that, in the initial stage, a great number of passengers would turn to the high-speed train services. At the same time, goods transportation by high-speed train is expected to increase by at least 20 percent.
In addition, the Prime Minister said that Thailand, China, and Lao PDR are joining a project to develop a railway network for economic stability in this region. The project will help reduce transportation costs for entrepreneurs and distribute wealth to the regional areas of the country.
Source: The Government Public Relations Click here