Thailand’s ‘Utapao – Map Ta Phut’ projects to draw worldwide investment

Construction News

Thailand’s ‘Utapao – Map Ta Phut’ projects to draw worldwide investment

Two EEC extravaganza projects, “Utapao – Map Ta Phut,” are guaranteed to serve as a gateway drawing investment confidence worldwide

Following the recent appointment as EEC’s Secretary-General, Chula Sukmanop is committed to building confidence among domestic and international investors, particularly in the Eastern Economic Corridor’s main infrastructure sector.

Progressive development is continuing to push the area as a gateway for transportation and an investment magnet to attract high-innovative based investment worldwide.

During April 28-29, 2023, the newly appointed Secretary-General inspected the EEC project list’s progress in two major initiatives, including the EEC Utapao Airport and the Eastern Aviation City. These projects are being invested in under 204.240 billion baht, comprising of 17.674 billion baht investment capital from the government sector and 186.566 billion baht from the private sector. The Map Ta Phut Industrial Port Development Project Phase 3, another key project invested under the capital of 57.405 billion baht, comprises two development phases, with 12.9 billion baht invested in infrastructure construction by the government and 44.505 billion baht invested by the private sector.

Urging the U-Tapao infrastructure construction and Aviation City Development to serve economic activities in the first phase of 2027, EEC’s Secretary-General further stated, “The EEC Utapao Airport and the Eastern Aviation City progress under the government sector’s directive are now proceeding to announce the invitation for interested contractors to join the second runway construction, which is tentative to commence in May 2023. Meanwhile, the government plans to pass on the construction project area to U-Tapao International Aviation Co., Ltd. (UTA) during Q3/23 and follow up on the airport infrastructure development further progress, including the electricity system and cooling water loop, while the Solar Farm and Cogeneration plants are now under construction to achieve the EEC’s ideal clean energy vision.”

The hybrid renewable power sites combined electricity generation capacity of 95 MW alongside the smart energy storage system capacity of 50 MW is launched to drive the Utapao Airport to step forward as the Eastern Aviation Metropolis driven by green energy, poised to minimise the environmental impacts with maximum efficiency. Other significant work-in-progress includes waterworks and waste management systems and an aviation fuel refill system. The private sector collaborative investment is now proceeding with construction development of Airport City, cargo, airport runway, roadworks, and other required infrastructure in the project, as well as other airport facilities. The revival business model is currently under the revision phase to enhance the current aviation business situation, as well as other detail assignments for each project. The other project progression is paving along with standard fencing for the aviation area, and the construction will be commencing right after.

Wirawat Panthawangkun, CEO of U-Tapao Company International Aviation Co., Ltd. (UTA), added, “U-Tapao Airport and Eastern Aviation City construction are now underway in their first phase of piling, expected to start in early 2024. The first phase is targeted to open in 2027 and is expected to serve 12 million passengers per year. When airport use reaches 80% of the traffic volume at its maximum capacity, UTA will begin construction of Phase 2 immediately.”

Map Ta Phut Port Phase 3 was completed earlier than planned, increasing confidence in the energy sector to attract investment worldwide.

Map Ta Phut Port Phase 3 was completed earlier than planned, increasing confidence in the energy sector to attract investment worldwide.

Regarding the Map Ta Phut Industrial Port Development Project progress phase 3, the EEC Secretary-General stated, “Map Ta Phut Port Construction is undergoing continuous progress. It has completed more than 43.72%, which is about 0.01% faster than planned. It is expected that the construction and operation of the gas port (Part 1) will be completed by 2027.”

Currently, the work in progress is the construction of sand dams. The core stone installation is 100% complete and is in the process of scaling up the outer armour stone, installing breakwater, filling sand for road construction, and completing the bridge in-out the project, which comprises the floating dock for the precast breakwater (Caisson) preparing processes, including dredging and adjusting the marine area. Other tasks include sediment screens as specified in the EHIA report that have been installed to strictly reduce the impact on the environment.

Public participation has been continuous during the project development. An environmental monitoring committee was established to allow the public sector to participate as committee members, not less than half of all committees of 3 committees, and has held meetings together more than 30 times. Additionally, environmental monitoring missions such as measuring air quality, noise, and vibration have been assigned to the project, as well as sea water quality measurements and the effluent quality evaluation, which have been reported to the Marine Department and the office of the ONEP six months per annum, already held three times.

“Map Ta Phut Port Development Project is considered an EEC infrastructure development to support the transportation of natural gas and liquefied raw materials for the petrochemical industry in the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate with an area of approximately 1,000 rai to support the investment in the EEC to increase the capacity of natural gas transportation. The liquid products for the petrochemical industry, 19 million tonnes per year, are tasked to support the expansion of the complete steel industry and in the downstream industry,” said Chula.

Following the progress of the two main projects, the EEC aims to build confidence in pushing for the main infrastructure in the EEC and to announce its readiness to attract investors to highly innovative industries in accordance with the BCG economic framework. By proceeding as planned, the project is expected to stimulate investment to drive the country’s economy in the next five years (2023-2027) at 400,000 million baht per year. The Thai economy is set to grow by 4.5-5% continuously, creating investment in the area leading to employment and income generation for people in the area.