Transport Minister Prajin Juntong has today issued instructions for the Harbour Department to develop the Gulf of Thailand Ferry Project linking the East and West Coasts with the upper Gulf of Thailand at Bangkok.We here at AG International Property Group are very excited about this.
Prajin said that this week the Harbor Department will hire a private company to study and design the piers and select the best sites for the service. The locations are expected to be at Pattaya and Puektian Beach in Petchaburi, (servicing Cha-am and Hua Hin) and Bang Pu (K-City) in the Samut Prakarn area will probably link Bangkok.
The SEP Group (Siam Eastern Industrial Park Co.), who have promised to invest four million baht, will run the service and the three terminals. The company claims that fifteen billion baht needs to be invested to complete the operation.
However, at a cost of only 1,000 baht per foot passenger and 3,000 baht for cars the company are expecting 2.8 million passengers to make a journey every year. There will be sixteen trips per day completed by four mid-sized catamaran ferries taking approximately ninety-minutes each. The current road journey can take as long as six hours.
Each catamaran will be able to carry four-hundred people, thirty cars, twelve motorbikes and forty tonnes of cargo.
Project manager Pirapong Prasopsukcharoen said that the new ferry service will not only be attractive to tourists but is expected to add 16.5 billion baht to the overall economy and 1.8 million baht to labour markets.
The planning stage, which was originally commissioned by the Yingluck Shinawatra government, has now been fast tracked and is expected to be completed in only twelve months.
A date has yet to be confirmed for the start of the building work.
Story by Albert Jack