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AoT upgrading six airports, including Phuket, to increase capacity

 

AoT upgrading six airports, including Phuket, to increase capacity

Three international airports, in Bangkok and Phuket, are now being upgraded and Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Songkhla airports will also be expanded to handle the growing number of air travellers, Airports of Thailand said on Monday.

Budgets had already been allocated for the expansion of capacity at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang in Bangkok and for Phuket International Airport, AoT chairman Sqn Ldr Sita Divari said.

Second phase construction at Suvarnabhumi airport would be completed in 2017, lifting its capacity to 60 million passengers a year, up from the current 45 million.

The AoT was working to resume the 100 per cent utilisation of Don Mueang, where only 30-40% of the airport is in now in use.

 

Rapid growth in Thai green building since 2007

 

Rapid growth in Thai green building since 2007

The Energy Complex is a green building with an LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) platinum accreditation.

The use of "green buildings" has increasingly formed a key part of efforts by large firms to improve their corporate image and show their corporate social responsibility (CSR), resulting in more and more of these types of buildings being constructed in Thailand since 2007.

The Thai Green Building Institute reports that the number of green structures has been growing rapidly over the past six years, almost doubling annually as the direct result of increasing awareness driven by the institute, universities, the private sector and the government.

New commercial constructions account for almost 80 per cent of green buildings in Thailand, because they are easier to adopt compared to restructuring existing ones.

Moreover, green buildings are currently limited to the commercial sector due to high building costs, as the accrued green cost is more difficult for individual, residential tenants to bear compared to companies occupying commercial buildings.

Besides the corporate image and CSR angles, green building also has lower operating costs.

 

Changi Airport Group appoints T4’s main construction contractor

 

Changi Airport Group appoints T4’s main construction contractor

26-Dec-2013 Changi Airport Group (CAG) announced today that it has awarded a S$985-million contract to Takenaka Corporation for the construction of Changi Airport’s Terminal 4 (T4). The award follows a tender which saw five companies submitting proposals.

Takenaka Corporation is a reputable and well-established contractor with a strong track record in the construction of several airports in Japan, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, including Changi Airport’s Terminal 1. The company was also involved in the upgrading of Changi Airport’s Terminal 2 (2006) and more recently, the upgrading of Terminal 1 (2012).

 

HÄFELE DESIGN CENTER in phuket (thailand) awarded with the first DGNB gold certificate in southeast asia

 

HÄFELE DESIGN CENTER in phuket (thailand) awarded with the first DGNB gold certificate in southeast asia

 

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the outstanding and already award winning HÄFELE DESIGN CENTER in phuket (thailand) has recently garnered the first gold certification in southeast asia from DGNB (german sustainable building council), one of the most comprehensive certificates for sustainable architecture worldwide.

 

Trina Solar To Supply 25 MW Of Modules For Project In Thailand

 

Trina Solar To Supply 25 MW Of Modules For Project In Thailand

Trina Solar Ltd. has been chosen as the supplier of 25 MW of modules for Phase III of the 75 MW Bangchak Solar Energy Project in Thailand.

The project is owned by Bangchak Solar Energy (Nakhonratchasima) Co. Ltd. and Bangchak Solar Energy (Chaiyaphum 1) Co. Ltd. - the subsidiaries of Bangchak Solar Energy Co. Ltd. - and will be constructed by Gunkul Engineering Public Co.

"This solar project further supports Thailand's National Energy Policy Commission's new target of delivering 1,000 MW of solar power by 2014 and 2,000 MW of solar power through utility projects by 2021, incented by feed-in-tariffs for rooftop and community ground-mounted solar projects, signaling high-level support for Thailand's solar sector," says management from Bangchak Solar Energy.

 

Centara expands its horizon along Thai coastlines - Rayong and Trat resorts to be expanded

 

Centara expands its horizon along Thai coastlines - Rayong and Trat resorts to be expanded

Centara resorts in both Rayong and Trat are due to be expanded due to the success of both destinations.

This is a quiet property facing a white sand beach along the preserved coastline of Trat, in Central Thailand. Centara Chaan Talay Resort & Villas Trat is located within a tranquil garden, miles away from the bustle and hustle of a city. But its main asset is this incredible 800-meter long white sand beach with the view stretching up to neighbouring Koh Chang island. When it turns hot, casuarina trees along the beach provide a welcome shaddy atmosphere to its guests. “This is certainly what makes our hotel so successful. However it could have even more success if more promotion was done for the coastal area. But authorities tend to only promote Koh Chang Island for the province”, indicates Kris Vanitchanont, General Manager of the Centara property in Trat.

 

Thailand and Laos open 4th friendship bridge 11 December 2013

 

Thailand and Laos open 4th friendship bridge 11 December 2013

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand and Bounnhang Vorachit, vice president of the Lao PDR, will preside over the opening ceremony in Thailand’s northernmost province of Chiang Rai.

The bridge which links Chiang Kong on the Thai border with Huay Xai in Laos is part of the economic development under the North-South Economic Corridor, connecting Thailand and Laos with Kunming in southern China.

The three countries have their shares in the construction together with the Asian Development Bank. Thailand and China have equally allocated their budgets for the total construction cost at Bt1.57 billion (some US$48 million).

 

Govt's infrastructure projects will breathe life into construction sector says Construction Institute of Thailand (CIT)

 

Govt's infrastructure projects will breathe life into construction sector says Construction Institute of Thailand (CIT)

The Construction Institute of Thailand (CIT) has revealed that the 1 trillion baht investment target in the construction sector this year is unlikely to be realized, and that the industry's growth next year might still be on a slow pace.

CIT Director Chakporn Oonjitt stated this year's declining growth in the construction industry is in line with the Bank of Thailand's readjusted national growth forecast at lower than 3%.

The construction industry previously set its growth target for this year at 1 trillion baht or an 8 to 8.5% increase from that of last year.

Mr. Chakporn expected the same sluggish pace of growth next year, considering the declining number of construction contracts between the Government and the private sector. He said prospects were not bright as construction of condominium and housing projects has also been on a decline since the middle of this year.

 

Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower plant construction in Laos to start soon

Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower plant construction in Laos to start soon

Funds, contractor for 410-megawatt hydropower plant ready to go ahead

Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding expects construction on the 410-megawatt Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower plant in Laos to commence by the end of this year, as a prime contractor and financing are now in place.

The developer and operator of the Bt32-billion project is Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy Power Co (PNPC), a 25:26:25:24 joint venture of Ratch, SK Engineering and Construction, Korea Western Power, and Lao Holding State Enterprise.

Ratch chief executive officer Pongdith Potchana said yesterday that construction would take about five years, so the plant will start commercial operations in 2018.

About 370 megawatts or 90 per cent of the generating capacity will be distributed to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand under a 27-year power purchase agreement. The rest will be fed into Laos's electricity grid.

 

Myanmar Opens Up SEZ Project to International Companies

 

Myanmar Opens Up SEZ Project to International Companies

Myanmar is allowing international investors to bid for a mammoth project to develop a special economic zone in its southernmost region following the withdrawal of the sole developer, a Thai company, which had been unable to secure partners for the venture, an official said Monday.

Chairman of the Management Committee of Dawei SEZ Han Sein told a press conference in Yangon that developer Italian-Thai Development Pcl ITD.BK—Thailand's largest construction group—had terminated its work on the project in Myanmar’s Tanintharyi region to make way for international bidders.

“Myanmar Port Authorities (MPA) and Italian-Thai had an agreement in place to work on this project previously,” Han Sein, who is also Myanmar’s deputy minister of Transport, said at the MPA office.

“We ended this [agreement] because we want [to open the project up to] international investment,” he said.

Plans for the Dawei SEZ include a deep-sea port, industrial zone, steel plant, fertilizer plant, coal and natural gas-fired power plant and water supply system.

The SEZ will have a motorway linked to Thailand’s Kanchaburi province, as well as a railroad hub, links to oil and gas pipelines, and electrical cable lines.

The initial phase of the project includes a two-lane road, a small wharf which can accommodate 13,000-20,000 tons of vessel, an industrial zone involving labor intensive industries, a power plant, a residential building, a water supply system and communication lines.

 

Thailand's Private sector eagerly awaiting Bt2 trillion investment

 

Thailand's Private sector eagerly awaiting Bt2 trillion investment

A Thai construction company is entering a joint venture with a Chinese firm to bid for the construction of dual rail tracks under the government’s mega infrastructure plans, tentatively scheduled to kick off next year.

Pasit Leesakul, director of TRC Construction Co, said the private sector is anxiously waiting for the launch of the development projects under the bill to borrow Bt2 trillion, which was passed by the Senate early this week (23.11.13).

TRC is a contractor for gas pipeline and engineering systems, and construction of factories for energy and petrochemical industries.

He said the development projects will increase Thailand’s competitiveness and decrease the logistics cost which amounts to 20 per cent of Thailand's gross domestic product.

 

Thailand to liberalize onshore natural gas distribution by mid-2014

 

Thailand to liberalize onshore natural gas distribution by mid-2014

The onshore distribution of natural gas in Thailand will be liberalized by mid-2014, the country's Energy Regulatory Commission said Friday.

A new regulation being finalized will enable third-party distribution of gas in Thailand, which is currently under the sole distribution of state-controlled PTT, the ERC said.

The ERC is an independent body whose regulations do not require approval from ministries or other authorities before being enacted.

The new regulation will have a direct influence on the distribution of LNG imports, the ERC said, as PTT's LNG receiving and regasification terminal and 1,437 kilometers (892 miles) of onshore pipelines will be made available to third parties.

 

Bangkok's MRTA Green Line gets new green light

 

Bangkok's MRTA Green Line gets new green light

The Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand board on Friday approved the construction of a line from Mor Chit to Khu Kot with bids to be called early next year.

The estimated cost of the 28-kilometre Green Line is 29 billion baht. Bids will be divided into four contracts, board chairwoman Ratchanee Treepipatkul said after the meeting.

One contract involves civil work including the building of 12 stations for an 11km sector from Mor Chit to Saphan Mai, and another one for 7km with four stations from Saphan Mai to the end of the line.

The third contract will be for car park buildings and a maintenance centre, and the last one for the electric rail track system.

 

Burma Turns to Japan, Thailand to Kick-start Stalled Dawei Project

 

Burma Turns to Japan, Thailand to Kick-start Stalled Dawei Project

Burma is set to wrest control of its Dawei industrial complex from a Thai company, Italian Thai Development (ITD), over its failure to attract investors to a strategically located, multi-billion dollar project tipped as a game-changer for regional trade.

According to two sources involved in the Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ), plans have been overhauled to inject foreign capital and expertise to revive what is arguably Southeast Asia's most ambitious industrial zone - a 100 sq mile deep-sea port, petrochemical and heavy industry hub on the slim peninsula separating the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

The project's leader, ITD, and firms it had made contracts with, have been told to cease activities at Dawei to undergo due diligence by international auditors to create “better modality”, according to a senior Burmese government official.

The review of a project that was for years stuck in a quagmire could be a significant boost to swelling Japanese industrial interests in the region, which include numerous deals with Burma's pro-business, quasi-civilian government and long established automobile and high-tech manufacturing plants in neighboring Thailand, where firms like Honda, Toyota, Canon and Toshiba operate.

The planned complex, which will include a steel mill, a refinery and a power plant, will be linked by highway to Bangkok and Thailand's eastern seaboard industrial zone.

That will mean Dawei could serve as an industry and trade gateway to Southeast Asia's markets, bypassing the Malacca Straits, the world's busiest shipping lane.

Burma would ask for Japanese and Thai government support to appoint companies to carry out a revised plan for the first stage of Dawei. This stage would include the development of a small port and access roads and setting up a water supply system and small gas-fired power plant “as quickly as possible”, the government source said, adding that it had yet to be agreed which firms would be involved.

The second stage would involve international tenders for the bigger projects, including the deep-sea port, and the building of a bigger power plant, which could be coal-fired.

 

Mozambique picks Thai firm to build coal railway, port

 

Mozambique picks Thai firm to build coal railway, port

Mozambique has picked a Thai construction firm as the preferred developer of a $3 billion railway and port project to boost coal exports, a senior government official told Reuters.

Bangkok-based Italian-Thai Development Pcl will construct the 525 km (325 mile) rail line from Tete province to Macuse in Mozambique's Zambezia province and a port able to handle 25 million tonnes of cargo per year, the official said.

 

Locals Won't Be Missing 'Bangkok Stonehenge';the remnants of Hopewell Project

 

Locals Won't Be Missing 'Bangkok Stonehenge'; the remnants of Hopewell Project

There is no doubt that, if left to stand for the next thousand years, the yet-unborn generations of Thais would be debating the possible purpose of hundreds of concrete pillars that lined the stretch of railroad in northern Bangkok.

For the moment, though, the towering concrete slabs - appropriately nicknamed by many as ′Bangkok Stonehenge′ - have been useful to a local vendor. The ′Stonehenge′ has been providing the shades that help shield her stall from the sun of Bangkok ever since she started her career a decade ago, she said.

A quick disclaimer, though - she was being sarcastic.

"Actually, I′m really bored of it," said the vendor, Ms. Somsri Boonthet, "They should have got rid of these things long ago because they are so useless".

The Stonehenge is, in fact, the remnants of what would have been the ambitious Bangkok Elevated Road and Train System (BERTS), also known to the Thais as the Hopewell Project.

Proposed during the administration of Prime Minister Chatichai Chunhawan during the economic boom in 1990, the project was intended to improve the services of State Railway of Thailand (SRT). The plan would have seen multiple elevated railways linking Bangkok with its outer provinces.

However, the ′mega project′ was repeatedly postponed by a series of political instability and massive corruption. On 20 January 1998, Minister of Transport at the time, Mr. Suthep Thaugsuban (who is now leading a protest against the current government), eventually called it quit.

The cancellation came at an enormous price for Thailand. The government was forced to pay Hong Kong-based Hopewell Holdings owned by the billionaire Gordon Wu an amount of 11.8 billion baht for unfair agreement cancellation.

The 532 concrete pillars have since been left standing. To many Thais, the ′Bangkok Stonehenge′ serve as a costly monument to the incompetence and corruptions that are often associated with so many governments that have ruled the country.

In the following two decades, the said monument also became shelters for birds, while graffiti artists showed off their skills on some of the pillars.

But as the government is pushing for the construction of Red-Line Sky Train services, which runs from Bang Sue to Rangsit, the Bangkok Stonehenge is finally being dismantled. The demolition was agreed in June 2013 when the SRT instructed Italian-Thai Development firm to destroy the rows of these concrete skeletons and pave way for future development.

 

Thai property market expands 10 per cent this year

 

Thai property market expands 10 per cent this year

Thailand's property market may enjoy a 10 per cent growth this year, an expansion by 120,000 housing units, according to the Government Housing Bank (GHB).

Samma Kitsin, director of the GHB Real Estate Information Centre, said there were 32,000 newly-built housing units in the first three quarters of the year and the figure will rise to 40,000 units by year-end.

There were 60,000 units of new condominiums in the first three quarters with a forecast of 80,000 units this year, representing a 20 per cent growth with an emphasis on projects along mass transit train routes, he said.

Higher land prices have led more consumers to buy condominiums instead of homes in housing estates, he said.

Loan extensions by commercial banks have significantly slowed down in the second half of the year after 20-25 per cent of loan applications were rejected – much higher than the normal 10-20 per cent rejection rate.

 

Obayashi wins contract for Nam Ngiep dam project, Laos

 

Obayashi wins contract for Nam Ngiep dam project, Laos

Japanese construction company Obayashi has been awarded a contract to provide civil engineering works for the 288 MW Nam Ngiep 1 hydropower project in Laos.

The project is being developed by Nam Ngiep 1 Power Co. Ltd., which includes KPIC Netherlands B.V., the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), and Lao Holding State Enterprise (LHSE), which own 45%, 30% and 25% of the group's shares, respectively.

Per the contract, Obayashi construct roads for the project, the dam itself, and the hydroelectric plant's two power stations. The dam will be 148-meters-tall by 530-meters-wide, impounding a body of water with a volume of about two million cubic meters.

 

Ground-water use behind Bangkok subsidence rate increase

 

Ground-water use behind Bangkok subsidence rate increase

Parts of Southeast Bangkok sinking by up to 28mm a year, seminar told

Due to extensive use of groundwater, land subsidence in Bangkok has reached a worrying level with instances more than doubling in neighbouring Samut Prakan, a seaside province, which is also losing land at an unusually high rate to coastal erosion, a Chulalongkorn University seminar was told yesterday.

Assoc Prof Itthi Trisirisattayawong, of the Faculty of Engineering, said the average sudsidence rate in Samut Prakan was around 10mm a year, but had reached 20.1mm, and even 28mm in areas connected to Thepharak and Srinakarin roads, and in the western parts of Bang Phli and Bang Bo districts.

In the north of Bangkok, areas along the Rangsit-Nakhon Nayok Road and branches of the Rangsit-Nakhon Nayok Canal in neighbouring Pathum Thani also faced subsidence of around 20-30mm per year - almost double the rate a decade ago. In neighbouring Samut Sakhon southwest of Bangkok, Itthi said affected areas included Om Noi, Omnai and - next to those areas - the Bangkok district of Nong Khaem.

 

Krabi coal-power plant unnecessary, experts say

Krabi coal-power plant unnecessary, experts say

INSTEAD of putting aside Bt30 billion to build a new coal-power plant in Krabi, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) should make energy consumption more efficient in the near future, experts say.

"There is no need to build a new coal-power plant or any other kind of power plant for the next 10 or 15 years, because Thailand already has an oversupply of electricity, especially for the industrial sector," Witoon Permpongsacharoen, director of the Mekong Energy and Ecology Network, said.

Egat decided to build a 700-800 megawatt plant after it estimated that consumption of electricity would rise from 26,355MW in 2013 to 52,256MW in 2030. It also decided to choose coal as one of the main fuels to generate power because it is the cheapest.

The agency recently hired consultants to conduct an environmental and health impact assessment (EHIA) for this project. The assessment will be submitted to the National Environmental Board's expert panel to seek additional recommendations before it is forwarded to other relevant agencies for approval. An EHIA is required under the Constitution's Article 67 (2) as the project can be classified as harmful to the environment and people's health. The EHIA is about 80 per cent complete.

 
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