IEAT plans to develop Udon Thani dry port
The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) is planning to develop a dry port in Udon Thani, with the aim of making the province a centre for regional land transport, linked with the Chinese-Lao high-speed train system.
The new inland transport facility will support trade among provinces in the Northeast and the Thai economy, said Veeris Ammarapala, governor of the IEAT.
"We expect this dry port will improve the efficiency of Thai logistics and land transport via roads and railways," he said.
The IEAT is confident the dry port in Udon Thani has the potential to serve Asean as a new transport hub in the future because Thailand is located in mainland Southeast Asia, surrounded by Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia with southern China nearby.
A linkage between the port and the Chinese-Lao high-speed rail system will also facilitate land transport in the region.
The 414-kilometre-long rail route connects the Lao capital of Vientiane with the Chinese city of Kunming.
The Thai government also has a plan to develop a 609-km rail line stretching from Bangkok to the northeastern province of Nong Khai, which is opposite Vientiane on the other side of the Mekong River, according to media reports.
The IEAT said the new dry port can be linked with Laemchabang deep-sea port in Chon Buri and Map Ta Phut deep-sea port in Rayong. Chon Buri and Rayong, along with Chachoengsao, forms the Eastern Economic Corridor area, which will be turned into Thailand's high-tech industrial hub.
Mr Veeris said IEAT will use Balenciaga shipyard in Spain as a model for the development of the dry port. Balenciaga shipyard employs high technology to facilitate goods transport and management.
The dry port will be developed by Udon Thani Industrial city, a joint venture between the IEAT and a local investor in Udon Thani.
Udon Thani Industrial City, which covers 2,170 rai of land, is the first industrial estate in the Northeast. Up to 1,100 rai was developed in the first phase under an investment budget of 12 billion baht, according to the IEAT.