Thai Transport Ministry announces 652 billion baht for infrastructure projects

Picture courtesy of ThaiPost

The Thai Transport Ministry recently announced a substantial investment of 652 billion baht (US$18,345,526,120). The funds are earmarked for around 150 transport projects to be initiated this year and the next, in a bid to bolster the country’s infrastructure.

Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit detailed the plans following a policy seminar held yesterday, January 31. According to him, 64 projects, with a combined budget of 389 billion baht (US$ 10,944,489,715), are slated to kick off this year, with an additional 31 lined up.

In the following year, the ministry will commence 57 new projects, collectively worth 263 billion baht (US$ 7,399,696,990).

This year’s motorway projects include 18 initiatives, such as Motorway No 81 (Bang Yai-Kanchanaburi) and Motorway No 6 (Bang Pa-in-Nakhon Ratchasima). The construction of the 5th Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge in Bueng Kan is also set to begin in 2024, reported Bangkok Post.

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Moreover, 13 new projects, with a total investment of 254 billion baht (US$ 7,146,475,420), will commence construction before the end of the year. These include Motorway No 9 (the Western Ring Road of Bangkok), an extension of Motorway No 7 connecting to U-Tapao Airport, and an expansion of Motorway No 5 to Bang Pa-in.

The Transport Ministry also plans to inaugurate feeder services for 29 routes under the Department of Land Transport (DLT) and 21 routes under the Transport Company this year. To further promote sustainability, the Ministry will encourage DLT, Transport Company, and Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) to increase their use of electric buses. To this end, the Transport Company is set to acquire 75 electric buses next year.

In addition to road infrastructure, the ministry is also prioritising railway construction. It is fast-tracking new rail routes, the second phase of a double-track railway in seven routes, a high-speed railway, and a transport network to neighbouring countries.

Nine railway projects are due to be launched this year. These include a double-track railway from Nakhon Pathom to Hua Hin, Hua Hin to Prachuap Khiri Khan, and Prachuap Khiri Khan to Chumphon. The Ministry is also working to implement the Railway Act this year.

The ministry is also focusing on maritime transport, speeding up the third-phase construction of Laem Chabang Port and adding smart piers along the Chao Phraya River. Plans are also underway to develop regional ports connecting Krabi, Phang Nga, and Phuket this year.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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