$5.2 billion China-Thailand railway project facing further delays
The Sino-Thai high-speed railway project could be delayed until next year. The project has been halted and resurrected several times over issues such as cost, investment-sharing.
The USD 5.2 billion first phase of a Sino-Thai high-speed railway project could be delayed until the new year due to problems with environmental approval in Bangkok.
Construction had been expected to start next month, but that is now unlikely to happen as Thailand’s environmental authorities have yet to give the project the green light, China’s CCTV reported on Friday, citing Thai media.
Experts need to evaluate potential areas of concern, and construction will not be allowed to start until an environmental impact study has been completed, the report said.
The first phase of the deal is a line running about 250km from the Thai capital to Nakhon Ratchasima in the country’s northeast. Under the deal, Thailand will own the project and be responsible for financing its construction, while China will design it, and provide engineers, track systems, and equipment.
The first phase is part of a massive railway development project under China’s ambitious “Belt and Road Initiative”, which once completed will stretch more than 1,260km from Bangkok to southern China.
Despite the ambition, the first phase of the project has been halted and resurrected several times over issues such as cost, investment-sharing and development rights.
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