Connect with us


Korean firm ready to invest in Phuket tunnel

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Representatives of a Korean firm are the latest potential East Asian investors to meet the Phuket Governor to discuss involvement in a Phuket transport mega-project, this time the proposed Patong Tunnel.

Accompanied by Phuket MP Raywat Areerob, a delegation from the AZ Worth Trust Company was received by Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop at his office in Phuket Provincial Hall at 11am today.

CEO and chairman Kyung Keun Hong told Gov Wichai his firm was interested in taking on the project on a turnkey basis.

The firm is also interested in investing in the light rail project that would link Phuket International Airport with other parts of the island, he said.

Gov Wichai told the Koreans that two Chinese firms have expressed interest in the light rail project. All of the various proposals would be carefully considered, he said.

Mr Kyung said his firm’s top priority was the Patong Tunnel project.

Gov Wichai said that since both projects would require Cabinet approval, the best he could do was receive their proposal and pass it on to the Ministry of Transport.

Developing the Patong Tunnel as a turnkey project avails the opportunity using the build-operate-transfer model, similar to the way some expressways in Thailand have been developed in the past.

The Thai government typically offers operation concessions of 20, 25 or 30 years in order to lure investors, Gov Wichai said.

Mr Kyung told the governor through a translator that he realized the need for the tunnel during his first visit to Phuket five years ago.

“It is very dangerous for people to go to Patong using the current route. We have seen the results of these dangers many times. We are interested in covering this project. We are ready to invest,” he said.

The company has reviewed several road tunnels in Korea comparable in scope and have come up with a rough estimate of three to four billion baht to complete the Patong Tunnel project.

A 40-million-baht feasibility study is now underway and a Bangkok-based consulting firm has recommended two 1.17-kilometer tunnels with elevated roads at both ends as the best possible option.

Initial estimates by the consultants put the cost at about 2.5 billion baht.

There seems to be a growing consensus that a tunnel is needed. In a 2001 Phuket Readers’ Poll, 71% of readers thought the money needed for the construction would be better invested in other areas, such as health care, education or environmental protection.

In a more recent poll, conducted in October last year, over 55% of those taking part were in favor of building the tunnel.

In Patong, opinion appears to be split. The business community, especially those with land and real estate developments along the road over the hill, are mostly in favor.

However, most of the residents of Ban Mon, where the flyover would be located, oppose the project.

A small number of people oppose the project of spiritual grounds, saying it could harm Phuket’s feng shui.

— Atchaa Khamlo & Stephen Fein


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand13 mins ago

Bangkok volunteer group “Sai Mai Will Survive” overwhelmed with calls

Coronavirus (Covid-19)54 mins ago

Phuket reservations slow down for August

Thailand4 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Saturday: 18,912 infections, news briefs

Sponsored2 days ago

Experience Phuket’s Islands with 5 Star Marine

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Drugs10 hours ago

Police nab 600kg heroin drug bust, year’s biggest in Northeast

Koh Samui13 hours ago

Koh Samui unaccustomed to Covid-19, many act in dismay

Thailand15 hours ago

Bangkok Airways extends flight suspension to August 11

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand16 hours ago

7 Jomtien Beach curfew breakers arrested

Thailand17 hours ago

Buri Ram pig stable converted into gambling den: 22 arrests follow

Thailand18 hours ago

“Fake news” banned, Thai media say order infringes on freedoms

Phuket18 hours ago

Precarious Phuket: open internationally, closed domestically

Best of18 hours ago

Top 5 tattoo parlours Bangkok

World19 hours ago

Duterte approves lockdown measures for Manila

Best of19 hours ago

The Best Pizza in Bangkok with Delivery

Thailand19 hours ago

Thailand News Today | worker camp woes, ‘fake news’ crackdown | July 30

Best of19 hours ago

Best Premium Hotel Buffets in Bangkok

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8