The Thai government plans to invest THB120 billion (US$3.8 billion) to further expand Laem Chabang Port in Chon Buri province to ease congestion around the harbor and support the development of the country’s eastern seaboard.
The Ministry of Transport said on June 18 that it is recommending a third phase of expansion for the Laem Chabang port, which has already undergone two phases of development.
The third phase will increase its annual capacity to 18.8 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) to meet traffic needs over the next two decades, the Bangkok Post reports.
Laem Chabang is Thailand’s main deep-sea port and a major gateway for cargo transport in Southeast Asia. Handling more than 50 percent of Thailand’s exports and imports, it has an annual container throughput of 5.6 million TEUs and is seen to reach the full capacity of 10.8 million TEUs a year by 2019.
Under the expansion project, Transport Minister Jarupong Ruangsuwan said the new wharf will be widened to two kilometers long, 900 meters wide, and 15 meters deep to accommodate calls by large vessels.
Roads and gates leading to the area will be broadened and a double-track railway system connecting Laem Chabang to the northeast will be constructed.
Expected to be completed in 2017, the Laem Chabang port expansion is part of a group of projects connecting the eastern seaboard of Thailand to a deep-sea port and industrial estate being planned in Dawei city in Myanmar.
Photo: Laem Chabang Port