Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha expects the third-phase development of Map Ta Phut deep-sea port to make Thailand a modern hub of water logistics, boosting investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
"It will serve as a gate to connect trade between Asean and the international community," said Gen Prayut yesterday as he officially launched the new port development project.
More investment, driven by port infrastructure aimed at facilitating the transport of natural gas and liquid products, means more employment and a better local economy in Rayong where the port is located, he said.
"I want all sectors to take the Apec summit as an opportunity to help make the EEC a destination for foreign investors," said Gen Prayut, referring to this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit to be hosted by Thailand in November.
Veeris Ammarapala, governor of the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand, said the third-phase development of Map Ta Phut port will pave the way for the expansion of the Thai petrochemical industry, benefiting energy product businesses.
It will also ensure national energy security as demand for energy will increase in the future, he said.
The 55.4-billion-baht development, which spans 1,000 rai, is divided into four periods of development.
The first period, which requires investment of 12.9 billion baht, focuses on land reclamation and dredging watercourses.
Docks for the transport of gas and liquid products as well as warehouses will be developed over the three remaining periods.
New facilities at the port will be ready for commercial operations in 2026.
The port development project is one of five key infrastructure development projects in the EEC area.
Other projects are a high-speed railway linking three airports (225 billion baht); U-tapao aviation city (290 billion); a maintenance, repair and overhaul centre (10.6 billion); and the third-phase development of Laem Chabang seaport (114 billion).