Marine Department eyes huge cruise ship terminal on Koh Samui
The Marine Department on Tuesday organised a market-sounding seminar for the development of a terminal for large cruise ships at Koh Samui, Surat Thani province.
The seminar was held at Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel.
“The project will be a public-private partnership [PPP] to build a cruise terminal at Hin Khom Cape in Koh Samui’s Taling Ngam subdistrict,” said Wanchai Butrthongdee, the department’s chief of engineering.
“We have conducted a feasibility study and concluded that the area has economic potential and is ready where engineering and the environment are concerned.”
Wanchai said investment for the ambitious project will be under the PPP net cost format, in which the government will cover land expropriation and construction fees, while its private partners will be responsible for equipment, operation and maintenance of the terminal for a good 30 years.
“If revenue from the terminal is lower than expected, the government will offer a co-investment subsidy to its private partners,” he said. “On the other hand, if the revenue is higher than expected, private partners must share part of their earnings with the government in the form of concession fees.”
The Samui cruise terminal will be able to accommodate two large cruise ships (carrying up to 4,000 passengers) simultaneously, which are equivalent to 80 yachts or six ferries. The terminal is expected to be 362 metres wide and 12 metres deep. The passenger terminal should be able to accommodate up to 3,600 passengers per hour.
In 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, cruise ships had docked at Thailand’s coasts 550 times, 59 of which were at Samui, making it the third biggest cruise ship docking port in Thailand following Phuket and Laem Chabang.
From 2010 to 2019, the number of tourists entering Thailand via cruise ships increased 5.3 per cent per year.