Port bidding set for October

Port bidding set for October

The Laem Chabang port will be expanded and auctioning is planned for October. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)
The Laem Chabang port will be expanded and auctioning is planned for October. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

Auctioning for the third expansion phase of Laem Chabang port in Chon Buri is set to take place in October, Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) acting director-general Songtham Chantaprasit says.

Terms of reference (ToR) for the estimated 141-billion-baht megaproject are awaiting finalisation by the PAT, he said. Once bidding commences, winners will be announced in November.

Laem Chabang's third expansion phase has been fast-tracked by the government in an effort to develop the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) which covers Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Rayong provinces.

While the plans also include the construction of railway networks that lead directly into the port to ease cargo transfer, overall expansion so far has become a cause for concern for communities living near the port.

The main part of the megaproject involves extending the port's surface area by piling up sand over several hundred rai of coastline in the Laem Chabang area, in Chon Buri's Si Racha district.

An environmental health impact assessment being carried out by the PAT to gauge effects of the expansion plans could be approved in around six months' time, the authority's reports have said.

The complete third phase has been tipped to be operational by 2025.

EEC Office reports state the developments will allow Laem Chabang to increase its efficiency in cargo transportation from 7.7 million containers to 18.1 million containers per year. They will also increase the amount of cargo arriving by rail instead of large trucks by 23%.

Meanwhile, Sub Lt Songtham said ToR for hiring consulting companies to conduct studies on how the PAT will manage and operate the land it owns will be complete in two months.

Auctioning for consultancy rights will take place in the latter half of the year, he said. The studies would take around eight months to complete, and will be submitted to the PAT and the Transport Ministry next year, he added.

The government had earlier instructed the PAT to find ways to commercialise the land it owns nationwide, starting with over 3,000 rai around Bangkok port, in Klong Toey.

The land, seen as ripe for development, has been valued at over 100 billion baht.

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