Get to know “Land Bridge”, an economic bridge transforming the Thai economy

Recently, there was a project that made a sensation all over society because the budget of that project is around 1 trillion baht. The project is called “Land Bridge” or economic bridge to link two deep water ports of the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman, in the midst of opposition about environmental impact.

This time, ACU PAY will help you to understand how this project came about, what steps have been taken, and how they affect the environmental impacts.

What is a Land Bridge?

A Land Bridge is a transportation route such as road, bridge, or railway that is used to link continents. It is built to transport consumer goods from one side to the other. In other countries where Land Bridge is built, for example, Canada, which can shorten the shipping time between the Pacific Ocean and Europe faster without going around South America.

What is built in the Land Bridge project in Thailand?

The Land Bridge project in Thailand is to build an economic bridge in the south, connecting two deep water ports of the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman between Chumphon and Ranong. An important incentive of the project is to reduce the shipping time of the Strait of Malacca route from 9 days to 5 days.

It is a transshipment option between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean by bringing goods from ships onto trucks or trains and transporting them to be shipped at the other port.

A port industry will be established to attract investors to develop the port industry. A commercial area will be created to enhance economic competitiveness in the South.

Land Bridge must build four main transportation parts:

  • Develop deep water port on 2 sides which are Laem Aao Ang, Andaman sea, Ranong, and Laem Liu, the Gulf of Thailand, Chumphon. It will be a Smart port that is controlled by an automation system. The depth of the port is 15 meters. The establishment is divided into 4 phases, the budget of the first phase is 5 hundred billion baht. Open bidding in 2025, is expected to be completed in 2030.
  • Development of a 6-lane motorway linking Ranong and Chumphon, the distance is 90 kilometers.
  • Development of a new double-track railway linking Ranong and Chumphon
  • Create Pipeline Transport or Transport Using Pipe System

Why does Thailand need to have a Land Bridge?

  • This will reduce shipping time from the East of Thailand to South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe by up to 2 and a half from 9 days to 5 days through Malacca Strait.
  • Reduce traffic congestion through the Strait of Malacca, which is expected to have full capacity in 2024.
  • It is in the Southern Economic Corridor, it may increase the South’s GDP from 2% to 10% for at least 10 consecutive years.

Concerns about the creation of Land Bridge

Where there are advantages, there must be disadvantages. Landbridge is causing discomfort to local residents as it may affect the environment, including;

1. Natural effects

Docking ships may pollute the sea from oil slick or leaked oil, destroying aquatic animals’ habitats and pollution from industrial estates.

2. Affect the lifestyle of local fishermen

When aquatic animals are not the same, as well as dust, noise, and light that is turned on most of the time, those affect both animals and people living near the port, buffer zones, and the national parks that are proposed to be listed as natural heritage sites.

3. Housing Impact

Because of this project, a lot of expropriation of land from the public.

Has the Land Bridge started construction yet?

Now the government is proposing a cabinet. The project is in the process of raising roadshow funds to present foreign investors with a budget of over 1 trillion baht. At present, the Cabinet has approved the study of environmental impacts. What will be the final outcome of this project? We will need to follow up on this project.

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