BANGKOK, Aug 15 — Thailand’s southern Andaman Sea province of Satun is in line for improved export connection with the confirmation today that the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP) supports the development of the Pak Bara port in Satun province.
OTP Director Peerapol Thavornsubhajaroen said the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) gave a nod to the Pak Bara Port Project and it is already included in the Ministry of Transport’s infrastructure development scheme for the next 4-8 years.
He said the Marine Department planned to start the port construction in 2016 and open it in 2020 and the port would significantly boost water transport capacity in southern Thailand and cut logistics costs.
Past research pointed out that Pak Bara Port will support the transport of Thai exports including natural rubber and seafood from southern Thailand to other countries and noted that Thai operators will considerably cut their costs because they will not have to export products through Singapore or Penang, Malaysia.
Thai operators export at least 300,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers through Singapore and Malaysia annually. The Pak Bara port is designed to initially handle up to 800,000 TEUs yearly.
The OTP plans to extend a double-track railway from Hat Yai district of Songkhla province to Pak Bara Port and the railway will create a land bridge that will link the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea.
The cost of Pak Bara Port is estimated at Bt14-15 billion. Marine Department staff and the NCPO will try to convince local people to support the project, Mr Peeraphol said.