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Call for investors as Phuket’s light rail, Patong tunnel projects hit B53bn

PHUKET: Phuket’s long-awaited light-rail-project and the Patong tunnel project are now both in the stages of seeking investors to join as Public-Private Partnership (PPP) figures, Wilairat Sirisoponsilp, the Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Transport’s Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP), announced today (June1).

By The Phuket News

Friday 1 June 2018, 06:10PM

Wilairat Sirisoponsilp (centre, left), Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Transport’s Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP), announced the news today (June 1). Photo: PR Dept

Wilairat Sirisoponsilp (centre, left), Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Transport’s Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP), announced the news today (June 1). Photo: PR Dept

Ms Wilairat revealed the news this morning at a meeting held at Phuket Provincial Hall, led by Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong.

The investment needed for the light-rail project now totalled B39.406 billion, Ms Wilairat said.

This is the total construction cost to build the light rail from Tha Noon (in Phang Nga) to Chalong Circle, to develop tourism and transportation in Phuket,” she said.

Ms Wilairat explained that Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project was submitted in January. (See story here.)

The Ministry of Transport has now handed over to the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA)* the responsibility of drafting the terms for a PPP for the project.

The MRTA will work with private investors and the Phuket Transport Committee to draft the terms in accordance with instructions given by the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (which approves EIAs),” Ms Wilairat said.

“This will take about four months. After that stage is complete, the project will be open to bids for eight months,” she added.

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Regarding the Patong tunnel project, Ms Wilairat explained that the required investment now totalled B13.917bn.

“Of this, B5.686bn is dedicated to acquiring the land and B8.231bn for the construction,” she said.

The overall plans remain unchanged since 2015, with the the tunnel road comprising two lanes for cars and two lanes for motorbikes. The 900-metre ramp on the Patong side will pass over Phisit Goranee Rd to the hill, and the tunnel itself will be 1.85km long (see story here), Ms Wilairat repeated today.

The ramp on the Kathu side will be 1.23km long and join Route 4029 (Phra Baramee Rd)

“This project is now also open for private investors, a move approved in May this year,” Ms Wilairat said.

“Now we are having the terms of a PPP for this project drawn up and will presented this to the central government when it is done,’ she added.

*Correction: Not the "State Railway of Thailand" as originally reported. The error is regretted.



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stegee68 | 05 June 2018 - 09:05:14

"Phuket’s long-awaited light-rail-project"... this project is only long awaited by the people who stand to profit from it.. nobody i know (thais, expats or tourists) think this is a good plan for phuket transportation- yet still they press ahead with it...

BenPendejo | 04 June 2018 - 14:51:33

With the lack of qualified planning, engineering and construction capabilities, one would have to be a complete moron to throw one cent at these projects. That's not even considering the lack of fiscal oversight and the complete lack of integrity of Thai officials and construction firms.  With the reputation of this place, nobody with a brain is going to invest in either of these projects.

malczx7r | 04 June 2018 - 02:55:26

Great idea, invest your money into something that will be built with the least amount of thought, no project management, years overdue, years over budget, what could go wrong?

vegasbaby | 02 June 2018 - 18:56:23

The time share developers and go-go bar business would be perfect investors for these projects...simply build bars and condos all along the roadways and they'll get 'er done.  

Capt B | 02 June 2018 - 09:41:09

Beware of a foreign Government bearing a gift of massive debt.
Kind of like having a Sri Lankan port project when your not having a Sri Lankan port project.

Pauly44 | 02 June 2018 - 08:15:10

Oh brother, given the total incompetence with the various and largely unneccessary underpass fiasco around this little island  just imagine the utter chaos they will cause with these massive construction projects! Phuket is getting too big for it's boots.

Xonax | 01 June 2018 - 19:14:44

What about building proper sewage and garbage treatment plants first, before hauling even more tourists to the island??

Kurt | 01 June 2018 - 18:29:18

If, if Patong tunnel ever will be realized than it will take 20 years building time, without Swiss and Italians builders, projected on:
1: A simple domestic airport terminal renovation. Planned 1 year working time, became 1.5 years, still no airco's installed
2: A small Chalong underpass construction, started in 2015, planned to be completed in 2017. Already 1 year overdue. Finish in 2019?

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