EECO board green lights study on projects linking Thai ports with other Asian land and sea routes


The Eastern Economic Corridor Office (EECO) board chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has approved a study into linking Laem Chabang Port with international cities under three projects, EECO secretary-general Kanit Sangsubhan said on Wednesday.

The three comprise:
1. A Thai bridge project, which aims to link the Eastern Economic Corridor to the Southern Economic Corridor by constructing a four-lane highway connecting Thailand’s west and east coasts (Chon Buri and Petchaburi). This will save travel time by 2-3 hours and can also promote tourism and reduce freight costs between the South and Laem Chabang Port.
2. A dry port project, which will link Laem Chabang with international cities under collaboration with neighbouring countries. The aim is to connect Laem Chabang to land ports in major cities such as China’s Chongqing and Kunming, Laos’s Natei, Luang Prabang, Vientiane and Savannakhet, Myanmar’s Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay, Cambodia’s Poipet and Phnom Penh, and Vietnam’s Danang. When completed, this will add two million containers to Laem Chabang port per year.
3. A project connecting the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea (Chumphon Port and Ranong Port) plus land-bridge connectivity. The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning aims to develop Ranong’s deep-sea port into a container port to serve shipping routes to South Asian countries, or the BIMSTEC bloc (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka). This will reduce the time and cost of shipping since vessels won’t have to pass through the Straits of Malacca. Also, a cargo transportation system is being developed to connect the two deep-sea ports with a double-track railway and motorway to serve as an economic bridge linking the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand.