Clarion call for deep-sea port project 

March.09 2018

The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) aims to seek new investors for its upcoming project, the third phase of Map Ta Phut port, by inviting 200 local and foreign companies to meet next month.

On April 20, the IEAT will conduct a market sounding meeting in Bangkok on further development of the deep-sea port at Map Ta Phut.

"We plan to brief investors on the port before announcing terms of reference (ToR)," said IEAT governor Veerapong Chaiperm. "About 120 firms are foreign, including those from China, Belgium, Singapore and Britain, while the rest are local."

Mr Veerapong said many companies have agreed to attend the meeting, including Italian-Thai Development, Ch. Karnchang, PTT Group, Gulf Energy Development, China Machinery Engineering Corporation and China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd.

The development of Map Ta Phut port is one of the government's key infrastructure projects to facilitate its flagship Eastern Economic corridor (EEC) scheme, spanning three provinces -- Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Rayong.

The IEAT plans to develop the third phase of the deep-sea port on a 1,000 rai plot for 11 billion baht.

The ToR will be announced in June for private firms interested in participating under the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.

The IEAT expects to sign a contract in November, with third phase operations projected to begin in 2024.

Mr Veerapong said the IEAT will conduct land reclamation, dredge up watercourses and construct embankments.

Another project comprise two wharves for liquid goods and three more for liquefied natural gas.

The IEAT will allocate 400 rai for five wharves and provide another 150-rai wharf for service cargo and containers.

Map Ta Phut port has 32 wharves with 12 operators. The port has had a compound average growth rate for transferred goods of 5.3% over the past decade.

Last year, over 7,000 ships docked there, with more than 44.7 million tonnes of goods being transferred.

The port is also the largest petrochemical hub in Southeast Asia.

Mr Veerapong said the third phase has attracted PTT Group to invest in a liquid chemical tank farm, LNG terminal and liquefied petroleum gas storage tank on a 200-rai plot.

Recently, the government announced 168 infrastructure development projects worth 988 billion baht.

PPPs account for 583 billion baht or 59% of that sum, while the annual government expenditure totals 296 billion or 30%.

State enterprises have set aside 98 billion baht or 10% and the Navy will cover the rest.

In a related development, the IEAT expects to sell 3,500 rai of industrial estate land for 90 billion baht in fiscal year 2018, ending September, up by 8.4%.

In 2017, the IEAT sold 3,300 rai for 83 billion baht.

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