Thailand Port Expansion Opposed by Residents
Residents oppose construction of the third phase of the Laem Chabang deep-sea port, demand a halt in the project
The move comes after the Transport Ministry proposed a 120-billion-baht (US$ 3.7-billion) project over seven years to expand the busy Chon Buri port.
The port has undergone two development phases, and Transport Minister Jarupong Ruangsuwan is calling for a third phase, advised by Team Group.
The proposed expansion will increase the port's annual cargo-handling capacity to 18.8 million 20-foot equivalent units, sufficient for over the next two decades, while at present the port handles 55% of Thailand's exports and imports.
The port expansion is part of the projects aimed at connecting the Eastern Seaboard to a planned deep-sea port and industrial estate in Dawei, Myanmar.
The expansion affects more than 1,000 households in Bang Lamung district, said local resident Chokthana Uppatham.
The government is paying 25,000 baht a rai for land reclamation, while it costs more than 100,000 baht a rai to purchase land outside the area.
Some 200 households have no place to live – some are renting space in temples – and the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) is not providing any help, said Mr Chokthana.