Govt touts Land Bridge to top French firms
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Govt touts Land Bridge to top French firms

The government was due to meet with top-tier companies in France yesterday as part of its Land Bridge Road Show to draw firms to invest in logistics infrastructure in the Southern Economic Corridor (SEC).

Panya Chupanich, director-general of the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP), said yesterday that Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit was to meet with two major French maritime investors -- CMA-CGM Group and Artelia Co -- to discuss the development of logistics infrastructure connecting the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea.

The environmental and health impact assessment (EHIA) for the Land Bridge megaproject is being conducted by the OTP, he said. The OTP is also studying a business model and drafting a request for proposal (RFP) to select an investor.

A study of a road-and-rail logistics network spanning 89.35km between Chumphon port on the Gulf of Thailand and Ranong port on the Andaman Sea is being supervised by the Highways Department and State Railway of Thailand (SRT), Mr Panya said.

The study and procurement process -- expected to wrap up in 2025 -- will require 45 million baht from the budget for fiscal 2024, he said, adding the process complies with the Southern Economic Corridor Act.

Anan Phonimdang, SRT deputy governor, said rail routes along the Land Bridge are divided into two sections. The first is a 1m-wide double-track route, with a study on its technical details and design having already been completed. The other is a 1.435m-wide double-track rail route. The SRT is working on adjusting the budget as suggested by the OTP. That is expected to conclude within 12 months.

The Land Bridge megaproject development consists of four phases.

The first will see the construction of a deep-sea port on the Chumphon side in the Laem Riw area, with a budget of 118.5 billion baht, and a deep-sea port built on the Ranong side, costing 141.7 billion baht. A route linking the two ports will cost 195 billion baht, with 6.2 billion baht in compensation for land expropriation.

Piyapong Jiwattanakulpaisarn, deputy director-general of the Highways Department, said it has set aside 50 million baht for the yearlong study of a motorway development project.

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