B4bn Mekong freight centre set to be built in Chiang Rai

B4bn Mekong freight centre set to be built in Chiang Rai

A cross-docking centre worth more than four billion baht will be built in the northern province of Chiang Rai as a freight transport hub in the Mekong River basin.

Speaking during a market sounding event for the project yesterday, Land Transport Department (DLT) deputy director-general Kamol Buranapong said the intermodal freight centre valued at 4.86 billion baht will be built on 330 rai of land in Chiang Khong district.

The centre would serve as a hub linking water and land freight transport between Thailand, Laos and China in the Mekong River basin while Chiang Rai will be promoted as a logistics city of Asean.

Of the total budget, 2.86 billion baht was earmarked for land expropriation and construction and two billion baht for management and maintenance costs.

Under the 2.86-billion baht budget, Mr Kamol said land expropriation had been completed at a cost of 780 million baht.

The first phase will require 1.4 billion baht which has already been approved by the cabinet.

For the second phase which will require 649 million baht, the department is in the process of seeking cabinet's approval.

Mr Kamol said the department will also forward the project proposal with comments from the public sector to the Transport Ministry for its approval, expected in June.

Bidding will be announced at the end of this year and the construction proposal will be forwarded to the cabinet for approval.

Construction is scheduled for next year with the project to be complete in 2019. The centre is expected to be launched in 2020.

Asst Prof Chackrit Duangphastra, an adviser to the project, said the cross-docking centre will be implemented under the public-private partnership scheme with a 30-year concession for a private operator.

The government will invest in land while the private sector will look after management and maintenance costs.

The ratio of revenues between government and a private operator are 80:20.

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