$1.7bn Thai port project attracts 18 bidders

18 companies worldwide have expressed interest in bidding for $1.7bn worth of contracts to develop the deep-water Map Thaput mega-port project in Thailand.

Ten companies from Thailand plan to bid, including PTT Global Chemical, Italian-Thai Development and Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding, said Nikkei Asian Review.

Another eight companies from elsewhere include four from China: China Communication Construction, China Railway Construction, China Harbour Engineering Company and CHEC Thailand Co.

Two Netherlands-based bidders are Boskalis International and Vopak LNG Holding, while Japan's expected bidders are Tokyo Gas Co. and Mitsui & Co.

February confirmation

Somchint Pilouk, governor of the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT), is overseeing the bidding process for the project

The IEAT is expected to name the winning bidder for Map Thaput by February 2018, with construction due to be completed by 2024, Mr Pilouk aid.

The Map Thaput port project is one of five mega projects planned for the Eastern Economic Corridor, near the resort city of Pattaya, along the eastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand. Another of the five projects is the expansion of the Laem Chabang Port.

The government expects the economic zone, which also includes a big airport expansion and a high-speed rail network, to attract 300bn baht over the next few years.

However, Nikkei Asian Review said an anonymous analyst warned that there could be a delay in the investment, as “many investors are waiting to see how long the [Sino-U.S. trade war and its peripheral effects] might last."

All five projects will be financed with public and private funds.

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