Thailand’s Bhumjaithai Party pushes land bridge project connecting the Andaman Sea with the Gulf of Thailand
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The Bhumjaithai Party is vowing to push for a “land bridge” that will connect the Andaman Sea with the Gulf of Thailand, saying the project will help spur economic growth in the South.
Itthidet Supong, spokesman of Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul, said Mr Anutin is keen on building an overland freight route that connects Ranong on the Andaman coast with Chumphon, which lies on the edge of the Gulf of Thailand.
Once completed, it will provide an alternative route for cargo ships looking to cross the Indian and Pacific oceans. At present, these ships must transit through the heavily-congested Straits of Malacca.
He said if approved, the project will see a large seaport constructed in Chumphon, while the existing port in Ranong will be upgraded so it could accommodate container ships.
The ports will be linked by a motorway, and a dual-track railway, as well as oil and gas pipelines, Mr Itthidet said, adding an industrial estate with warehouses will be built away from the coast to avoid impact on the environment.
Mr Itthidet added the project is estimated to generate revenue of about 1.3 trillion baht and push up gross domestic product by 3.7%, while creating half a million jobs.
Funding for the project will come mainly from the Infrastructure Fund and the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreement.