Residents have called on the Thai government to postpone studies into the expansion of Laem Chabang Port amid growing environmental concerns.
The news follows the proposal put forward by the Transport Ministry to invest as much as 120-billion-baht to further expand the Chon Buri port over the next seven years.
However, Port Authority of Thailand director Viroj Chongchansittho said that unless environmental and health impact assessments are completed to a satisfactory standard and then accepted, then the expansion will not take place.
In addition, there are growing concerns that further expansion will have a major affect on fishing in the area that is vital to both local life and its economy.
The port, which is responsible for more than half of Malaysia’s import and export trade, has recently undertaken two development phases.
The country’s Transport Minister Jarupong Ruangsuwan, under the guidance of Team Group, has called for the third phase of expansion, which would increase Laem Chabang’s capacity to 18.8 million TEU.
The construction of the third phase would see the Malaysian government paying 25,000 baht a rai for land reclamation to facilitate the expansion, rather than 25,000 baht for already existing land.
The move has incensed locals further still in the Bang Lamung district as over 200 households are currently living in temporary accommodation, and believe the money would be better spent in finding them a permanent residence.
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