Infrastructure & PPPs in Thailand - Q3 2023 Update
YOG INFRA Q3 2023 insights
THAILAND is developing a large number of multimodal logistics projects, with a strong focus on enhancement of transport infrastructure and increasing connectivity with neighbouring countries. Development sectors include motorways, MRT lines, new inter-country rail links, ports, data centers and telecom projects - all of which hold good potential for use of PPP model for implementation.
Read more about key developments in Infrastructure and PPPs in the country in our latest insight.
DOH ANNOUNCES 20-YEAR ROADMAP TO DEVELOP HIGHWAYS IN THAILAND
The Department of Highways (DOH) has announced a 20-year roadmap to expand Thailand’s highway network, including the construction of new motorways. In line with this, the agency has also contracted companies to conduct feasibility studies for the updated Motorway-Rail Map (MR Map). Results from the study, which will explore possibilities for developments for future highways and transportation, will be presented to the Ministry of Transport (MOT) for review before the end of 2023.
Around 9 projects, with a combined cost of THB 457 Bn (USD 13.01 Bn), will be developed in the first 5 years of the plan and around 331 km of new highways to be constructed under this phase. DOH also plans to develop THB 775.9 Bn (USD 22.08 Bn) worth of new motorways in subsequent phases of the plan. Development of the projects under the MR Map will be overseen by multiple agencies under the MOT, including the Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT), the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), and the DOH.
DRT EYES 4 NEW MASS TRANSIT LINES IN THAILAND
The Department of Rail Transport (DRT) is planning to develop 4 new mass transit rail lines in Thailand. The agency has proposed the development of:
8.8-km-long line between Rangsit and Thammasat University
5.7 km extensive line connecting Taling Chan and Siriraj
14.-km-long line spanning Taling to Salaya
22.1 km long Brown Line between Khae Rai and Bueng Kum.
These 4 projects will require a total estimated investment of around THB 63.4 Bn (USD 1.8 Bn). The lines are expected to open to passenger service in 2029 and after conducting extensive public hearings to assess the rail requirements of commuters in and around Bangkok, the Department has selected the final 4 routes from the 33 routes recommended in its M-MAP 2 master plan for rail transport in the region.
FEASIBILITY STUDY PLANNED FOR RAIL LINK BETWEEN THAILAND AND VIETNAM
The Ministry of Public Works and Transport has announced that a feasibility study is in the pipeline for the development of a rail line between Thailand and Vietnam through Cambodia. The proposed cross-border rail line will link Poipet town in Banteay Meanchey province, SiemReap, Kampong Thom, Kampong Chhnang, Phnom Penh, and Bavet town in Svay Rieng with plans to connect to Ho Chi Minh City via Moc Bai.
Plans also call to convert the existing Northern and Southern Railway Lines into high-speed rail, enabling trains to reach speeds of up to 160 km/h.
STATE RAILWAYS OF THAILAND TO SPEND THB 1.5 Bn ON ELECTRIC TRAINS
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has allocated around THB 1.5 Bn (USD 42.7 Mn) to procure new electric locomotives for rail lines across the country. The plan has been approved by the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC). The agency is also exploring alternative procurement methods, such as adopting an operating lease or a financial lease, which are commonly used in the aviation industry but have not been implemented so far by the SRT.
Additionally, the SRT will also add 182 new carriages to its fleet. For its cargo division, the agency has allocated THB 2.4 Bn (USD 68.3 Mn) to procure 946 new rail cars. SRT had initially proposed procuring diesel units as a part of its modernization program.
ST TELEMEDIA ANNOUNCES THIRD DATA CENTRE IN THAILAND
ST Telemedia Global Data Centres Thailand (STT GDC Thailand), a joint venture between Frasers Property Limited (FPL) and ST Telemedia Global Data Centres (STT GDC), has announced "STT Bangkok 3", STT GDC's third data centre in Thailand. STT Bangkok 3, with a capacity of 2 MW, will be located within the One Bangkok district and is scheduled to open by the end of 2023. The 3 data centres will have a total IT capacity of 42 MW. The data centre’s strategic location pairs top-quality Grade A commercial spaces with world-class data centre solutions and services, offering its customers high-quality colocation space and low-latency network connectivity critical for digital-focused businesses.
The advantages of STT Bangkok 3's low latency connections, carrier density and excellent accessibility will enable tenants within the district to enjoy a combination of robust connectivity options and convenient access to top-notch data centre facilities, further reinforcing One Bangkok as the premier address of choice for businesses.
NT APPROVES THB 800 Mn (USD 22.7 Mn) FOR NETWORK INSTALLATION PROJECT IN THAILAND
The National Telecom (NT) has approved an investment worth THB 800 Mn (USD 22.7 Mn) for a 26 GHz network installation project in Thailand. This is the first phase of funding out of the THB 6.7 Bn (USD 190.8 Bn) investment required for the project over a period of 14 years. Procurement for the project will be finalized by early 2024 with the network installation scheduled to be completed by March 2024.
NT will provide fixed-wireless access service along with a private 5G network for manufacturers, ports, logistics operations and airports by using its 700 MHz as core network. By 2029, the company plans to provide its 5G technology on the 26 GHz range to 438 organizations located in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
MAP TA PHUT PORT ON TRACK FOR COMPLETION
The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) expects its third-phase development of the Map Ta Phut deep-sea port in Rayong will be completed in 2027, ready to serve investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). The development of the port covers a total area of 1,000 rai (1,600 hectare) under an investment budget of THB 55 Bn (USD 1.5 Bn). It is among major infrastructure development projects in the EEC, which will become a high-tech industrial hub, covering parts of Chon Buri, Rayong and Chachongsao provinces.
Other projects include a high-speed rail system linking three airports, U-tapao aviation city and the third-phase development of Laem Chabang deep-sea port in Chon Buri. Once the infrastructure development is completed, IEAT will co-develop a new dock to facilitate the transport and storage of liquid goods, including liquefied natural gas. The investment is made through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with Thai Tank Terminal.
BLACKROCK'S CLIMATE FINANCE PARTNERSHIP TO BACK THAI SOLAR PORTFOLIO
BlackRock Alternatives-managed infrastructure fund Climate Finance Partnership (CFP) will partner with Thailand-based Chow Energy Company to develop solar projects in the Southeast Asian nation. As BlackRock Private Markets’ first renewables venture in the country, the tie-up is aimed at supporting the clean energy company’s target of building a domestic greenfield commercial and industrial solar capacity of more than 1 GW.
Thailand has established a framework for private sector participation in the generation sector which allows independent power producers to sign energy procurement agreements with government utilities.
Chow Energy has been developing, owning, and operating solar projects in Thailand and Japan since 2014.
CFP, a public-private finance vehicle to invest in emerging markets, is managed by US-based BlackRock and backed by the governments of France (AfD), Germany (KFW), and Japan (JBIC) as well as various US impact organizations. The partnership aims to mobilize blended capital into climate infrastructure, targeting investment in non-OECD countries across Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
LAOTIAN HYDRO JV SIGNS PPA WITH THAI UTILITY
China Datang Group has signed a power purchase agreement to sell electricity from its Laotian hydropower joint venture to Thailand’s state utility. The state-owned firm inked the deal that will see the Pak Beng Hydropower Project, in which it owns a 51% stake, to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) across the border. Thailand’s Gulf Energy Development Public Company holds a 49% stake in the facility.
Pak Beng Hydropower Project is a run-of-river project in Pak Beng district, Oudomxai province with a capacity of 912 MW and annual generation of 4,775 GWh. The USD 2.4bn facility will be located on the Mekong River between the Jinghong hydropower plant in China and the Xayaburi hydropower plant in Laos. The Laotian government will help the project developer to commence construction as soon as possible.
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