Cost-cutting proposals for Dawei project
Thailand proposes a smaller road to link with Dawei, Myanmar, as well as a smaller port in order to draw foreign investment, said Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt.
The proposal was made to a Thai-Myanmar subcommittee on the Dawei development project that convened on Thursday. The 132-kilometre road would have two lanes instead of four as originally planned. This would cut the construction cost, currently estimated at Bt30 billion, by 30 per cent.
Meanwhile, the port’s depth would be cut from 26 metres to 20, which would save Bt1.4 billion. The railroad gauge in the second phase would also be reduced from 1.435 metres to 1.4 metres. A study on a double-track railway will be carried out. Within the next few weeks, high-level Thai and Myanmar officials will convene to finalise the financing issues. Finance Minister KIttiratt Na-Ranong will chair the meeting.
The Industrial Works Department is kicking off the next phase of its energy-saving campaign, targeting 100 industrial plants in each of 2013 and 2014.
Over the past nine years, the project has encompassed 734 industrial plants, which have saved Bt1.33 billion worth of energy through the installation of equipment worth Bt81 million.
A government meeting yesterday failed to finalise whether to switch a bus-acquisition plan from those powered by natural gas to those fuelled by E85 (gasohol with 85 per cent ethanol).
Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said that though 3,000 E85-compatible city buses would be 30-40 per cent more expensive than natural-gas vehicles, the switch would benefit local farmers. Still, this needs to be studied more.