The proposed four-lane road linking Kanchanaburi with Myanmar’s Dawei deep-sea port and special economic zone (SEZ) is expected to go before the neighbouring country’s cabinet after the Nov 8 election.
The 134-kilometre road valued at 4.5 billion baht will help shorten travel time between Kanchanaburi province and Dawei to two hours from four or five at present, said Newin Sinsiri, president of the Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (Neda).
He said the route, which can be used only during the dry season now, could be used year round upon completion.
The project has already won approval from Thailand’s Finance Ministry, and Neda and the ministry are discussing financing, Mr Newin said, adding that private sector joint investment through a public-private partnership (PPP) might be used to save the fiscal budget.
The Thai government is responsible for funding the road. If the Finance Ministry agrees with the PPP model, road users may have to pay a toll to fund maintenance.
Neda has spent 14.4 billion baht on 60 research projects in neighbouring countries over the past 10 years.
In related news, the Thai, Myanmar and Japanese governments have signed a memorandum of intent to hold equal stakes in developing a deep-sea port at the 197-square-kilometre Dawei project.
The project includes a deep-sea port, an industrial estate, a power plant, a tap water plant and roads connecting the Pacific and Indian oceans.
Dawei’s deep-sea port is expected to require an investment of US$10 billion over the next 30 years.
SET-listed Italian-Thai Development (ITD), Thailand’s largest construction company, has won the rights to develop 27 sq km of the 197 sq km.
ITD shares closed yesterday on the SET at 8.90 baht, down five satang, in trade worth 259 million baht.