By The Thaiger
A meeting yesterday was held at the Cape Panwa Hotel led by the manager of Phuket Deep-Sea Port Company Limited, Wanlop Pongluengtham.
Wanlop said: “The company has received a 30-year concession starting from May 1 from the Thai Treasury Department to manage the Phuket Deep-Sea Port. It covers 106 rai. We have planned to develop it in four phases.
“The first phase will have to be under a terms-of-reference contract which is to build a 900-square-metre passenger terminal with landscaping and infrastructure renovation, including port expansion to support cruise ships.
“Before, the port was built just for freight transport, but that is happening less with all the flights coming into the island these days. On the other hand, tourism continues to grow. More cruises are coming to the port. We have planned to expand the terminal from 360 metres to 420 metres. The port will be able to support two cruise ships at the same time.
“The expansion is expected to be done within 18 months. The first phase will cost Bt1 billion. In five years it is expected that there will be no more freight.
“Phase two will be developing more facilities such as restaurants, duty-free and souvenir shops. Phase three will include the development of a convention or exhibition hall and phase four will require the acquisition of land from the private sector to be developed as luxury hotels.
“In the next two years, the Marine Department will dredge the main channel from 8 to 12 metres in depth which will allow the port to be accessible to larger ships.”