Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard Development Committee, led by Transport Minister Prajin Juntong, has recently approved 91 projects under the Eastern Seaboard Logistic and Transportation Infrastructure Development Plan with an estimated investment of more than 100 billion baht ($3.13 billion), a top government official said.
The Transport Ministry’s official said this move aims at strengthening and integrating the whole logistic system in Eastern Seaboard, the country’s core industrial area.
Of total 91 projects, 18 projects (7.92 billion baht) are related to the water transportation development system particularly to connect two main ports, Laem Chabang in Chonburi and Map Ta Phut in Rayong, together, 8 projects (19.23 billion baht) are relevant to the train logistic system and 65 projects (82.77 billion baht) are to develop the network of land logistics.
“They plan to propose the Cabinet for the approval to build the 32-kilometre motorway from Pattaya to Map Ta Phut, which required the investment of around 20.2 billion baht. The bidding for this project’s construction should be announced in the fourth quarter because it is scheduled to complete in 2018,” the source cited.
After the coup was staged last year, Thai junta has formed the Eastern Seaboard Development Committee in order to solve the prolonged environmental problem in the area as well as integrate the transport and logistic system efficiently to serve the rising demand from the inauguration of Asean Economic Community.
Prachya Samalapa, Thai Chamber of Commerce’s chairman in the Eastern Seaboard Development Committee, said that the previous governments has poured a huge amount of investment into developing the Eastern Seaboard, which is worth in terms of return. However, it has created the serious pollution harmful to people and environment in the area.
“We need to lift up the standard of living and reduce the pollution from factories as soon as possible. Meanwhile, we have to improve the infrastructure to serve the increasing number of people who move to live and work there too,” he said.
According to Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand, there are around 2,000 factories in the Eastern Seaboard in Rayong, of which 1,800 factories are in the industrial estates and the other 200 are located outside.