The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Development Plan is aiming to revitalise and enhance Thailand’s ports of Laem Chabang and Sattahip which have been supporting Thailand as a powerhouse for industrial production for over 30 years.
Under the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme, Thailand’s main trade gate; Laem Chabang Port is undergoing Phase 3 of its’ expansion, to increase containers turnover to more than 18 million TEU per year, and exporting up to 3 million cars per year.
Sattahip Commercial Port Development will provide a tourist transportation hub, as a solution to tourists transportation flows to resorts of Koh Samui, Hua Hin – both on western coast of Gulf of Siam; and southeastern resort islands of Trat Province, such as Koh Chang, Koh Kud, Koh Mak.
Sattahip initially was, and still is, Naval Base, with 3 front piers being Naval only. The port is managed by Navy Command with plans to hand over civil facilities management to private companies.
The Sattahip Commercial Port Development Plan includes constructing ferry and cruise ships piers and terminals, in conjunction with the construction of high-speed train, connecting 3 airports – Suvarnabhumi, Don Muang, and U-Tapao former Air Force Base near Sattahip and Pattaya.
There will be two ferry piers at Sattahip, and a passenger terminal. The deep-water pier which is handling tankers now, will be converted into a passenger pier to receive cruise ships, a special short-cut highway will be built to connect pier directly to national highways and high-speed train.
With high-speed train, U-Tapao Airport fully operative, and ferries capable of transporting cars, buses and vehicles, it will be a tremendous achievement, solving, in the foreseen future, the transportation problems of tourists going to those resorts.
The current operating ferry line between Pattaya (Bali Hai Pier) and Hua Hin is considered to be auxiliary and not a major connection line. The Sattahip Commercial Port Development Project is to be completed by 2022.