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THAILAND-BURMA: Dawei road expansion plan shelved

February 26, 2013

The planned expansion of a motorway linking Thailand to the proposed Dawei deep-sea port project in Myanmar has been postponed.

The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTTPP) said expanding the motorway from four lanes to eight on the Thai side of the border is unnecessary for the time being.

The 110-kilometre road would link Dawei in Myanmar to Kanchanaburi in Thailand.

Chula Sukmanop, director of the OTTPP said the Dawei road link expansion project would pose high investment risks.

His findings were issued in a report on the Dawei joint development project submitted to Transport Minister Chadchat Sittipunt.

The report comes ahead of the third meeting of the joint steering committee for the Dawei project, set for March 6-8 in Chon Buri.

The OTTPP had analysed estimates of the cargo volume expected at the Dawei deep-sea port and found the figure was too high.

The transport volumes are not sufficient to justify expanding the motorway, the report said.

It said cargo containers would carry mainly industrial goods from the port and other goods from Kanchanaburi special economic zone and other western provinces.

His office recommended the deep-sea port be designed as an industrial port in the first phase.

A container port should be developed later as the volume of cargo containers increases in the second phase.

Mr Chula said Myanmar should change its laws to allow private operators to manage the port.

He also said in the report that his office has proposed that Myanmar review the size of its rail track for the Dawei project by using a one-metre track that could link to other rail networks in Thailand without the need to unload goods during transport.

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