BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP) recently reported that construction of 69 infrastructure projects in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) had been completed during the first eight months of 2021.
“The 69 completed projects account for 41 per cent of all infrastructure projects in EEC areas,” said the office.
“Meanwhile, 65 projects, or 39 per cent, are under construction. Eight projects have been cancelled, while the rest have their construction process pending due to a variety of reasons, including waiting for land allotment and EIA [environmental impact assessment] study, and delayed procurement of materials due to the Covid-19 situation.”
The OTP said among the top priority projects that must be completed before the end of 2021 is the high-speed train connecting three airports (Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-Tapao).
“The project is now in the process of moving the infrastructure system. It is expected that the construction will be completed and the area can be delivered within this month,” it added.
Meanwhile, Laem Chabang Port development project has already selected private partners as joint investors and the contract for the third phase has been drafted.
Construction could start as soon as the Cabinet approves the contract, the OTP added.
There are 20 infrastructure projects that have yet to start as they are waiting to be allocated funds from the fiscal 2022 budget. Most of these projects involve construction of new highways and railways that connect cities in Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat provinces.
The EEC has planned 168 infrastructure projects with a total budget of Bt988 billion. The projects have been divided into three phases: The urgent phase includes 99 projects worth Bt292 billion, starting from 2017 to 2018; 62 projects worth Bt414 billion in the middle phase starting from 2019 to 2021; and seven projects worth Bt252 billion in the extended phase from 2022 onwards, which will focus on connecting the existing infrastructure to those of nearby provinces and neighbouring countries.