EEC chief says infrastructure contract signings imminent

Three contracts to build major infrastructure projects in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), 3 eastern provinces of the Gulf of Thailand, will be signed within a matter of weeks with construction beginning soon afterward, the official in charge of Thailand’s advanced development zone said last week.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha promised to build more commuter-rail lines in the capital, news that should please investors, engineering and construction firms, real estate developers, and Bangkok commuters.

Secretary-general of the EEC office, Kanit Sangsubhan, reported to the Cabinet that the signing would include contracts for the high-speed rail linking three airports around Bangkok, the U-Tapao aviation hub, and the third phase of Map Ta Phut deep-sea port’s development.

Kanit signed the Map Ta Phut expansion deal last week and said the other two agreements would be inked by the end of this month. The deep-sea port’s renovation and new construction should be completed by 2025.

The EEC is a three-province zone adjacent to Bangkok that is a showcase for Thailand 4.0, the 20-year national strategy to elevate Thailand’s development through high technologies, green technologies, innovation, and research and development.

The government plans to link Bangkok’s two international airports to U-Tapao International Airport in the EEC through a high-speed rail line. Kanit said the contract for the $7.3 billion, 136-mile rail link between Suvarnabhumi, Don Muang, and U-Tapao airports, would be signed on October 15.

Prime Minister Prayut rode a newly opened subway line last week linking Hua Lampang Station – Bangkok’s Grand Central – with the suburb of Lak Song.

“The government wants to gear up and modernize transport systems for all people. We have to fill all major areas with these electric trains,” the Prime Minister said after disembarking the subway near Chinatown.

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