Thailand's Port of Laem Chabang boosts privatization

Thailand's Port of Laem Chabang boosts privatization

The next stage of privatization and expansion at Thailand's Port of Laem Chabang is set for early next year, with more facilities going to the private sector and several areas scheduled for upgrading.

Teerayudh Dummanonda, the port's managing director, said Laem Chabang is contracting out three container terminals to cut bureaucracy, improve efficiency and accelerate growth. It's not clear whether the terminals will be awarded to a single bidder or split among several.

Bids also will be sought for 30-year concessions to operate a truck terminal, distribution center and container maintenance shop. In all, those contracts are valued at $25 million.

Laem Chabang handled 3 million TEUs in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, up 14.7 percent from a year earlier. It became Thailand's dominant sea gateway after the government capped volume at the Klong Toey, the inland port at Bangkok, at 1 million TEUs a year.

The port has 11 terminals, including five for container ships, three for general/bulk cargo and others for specialized vessels. About 80 percent of total throughput is containerized.