Lao-Thai railway section I ready for service
The Lao-Thai Railway Construction Project Phase II (Section I) is now completed, while Section II will begin operations at the end of this year.
The project handover ceremony was held yesterday between the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (NEDA) of Thailand.
The ceremony was attended by Deputy Minister of Public Works and Transport, Mr Lattanamany Khounnivong, Thai Ambassador to Laos, Mr NoppadonTheppitak, senior officials from the ministry and NEDA along with local authorities from relevant sectors.
“This section was financially supported with over 656 million baht (about 155.2 billion kip) by NEDA, of which 30 percent is a grant and 70 percent a low interest loan,” the Lao Railway Department Director General, Dr Sompong Pholsena reported at the ceremony.
The project began in September, 2013 with a 24 month construction period undertaken by TEAM Consulting Engineering and Management Co., Ltd, (TEAM) in association with LTEC and TEAM Lao Co., Ltd and contractor Sermsanguan Construction Co., Ltd.
“The section comprises a siding track at Thanalaeng Station, 5,800 m of railway mainline expansion from Thanalaeng station to a container yard, along with upgrading of the signalling and telecommunications system from analogue to digital allowing computer controls,” he explained.
Also completed was a 38,000 square metre container yard and more than 2,000 m of concrete access roads, an over 5,000 square metre warehouse, three floors of administration offices, weight entry gate and other facilities, such as electrical system, water supply, fire prevention system and waste management facility.
“The project also completed construction of the railway department building and employee dormitories in September, 2015,” Dr Sompong said.
The facilities are important for socio-economic development especially the container yard as a logistic centre in Vientiane and to ease rail transport between Laos-Thailand via Laemsabang seaport and overseas.
This will reduce transport costs, improve safety and environmental management while giving entrepreneurs more choices to export and import their products.
Meanwhile, NEDA President Mr Newin Sinsiri noted the agency had supported millions of baht in financial and technical assistance for Laos through different projects.
“This is one of the projects to boost close cooperation between the two governments of Laos and Thailand,” he said. “It is also to promote trading and investment as well as tourism between two countries in order to link with Asia and the region,” Mr Newin added.
Section II, which comprises a 7.5km railway expansion from Thanalaeng station to Vientiane station at Khamsavath village and other facilities will begin at the end of this year.
This section will cost 994.7 million baht (about 235.6 billion kip), of which 30 percent is a grant and 70 percent a low interest loan from NEDA.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update March 24, 2017)