Feasibility Study Planned for New Railway Line in Lao PDR
GMS in the News
The Chinnakorn Civil Public Company of Thailand signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Planning and Investment of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) to conduct a feasibility study for a new railway line in southern Lao PDR. Mr. Vanhxay Inthalaseth, President of the Chinnakorn Civil Public Company and Ms. Khamchanh Vongsengboun, Lao PDR Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, conducted the signing on 16 October 2020. The project is expected to promote socio-economic development along areas on the railway route. It is also set to reduce the cost of transportation and logistics between Lao PDR and its neighboring countries, and further facilitate trade.
The proposed public-private partnership (PPP) railway line would span around 345km. It will connect Lao PDR provinces of Khammouane, Savannakhet, Salavanh, and Champasack. It has an estimated value of around $639.92 million (THB 20 billion).
Mr. Souneth Konphanthavong, Chinnakorn Civil Public Company consultant, estimated the initial feasibility study will be completed within six to ten months. The project would commence once borders between the two countries have reopened.
Lao PDR’s access to much larger markets makes it a potential transit point for trade among its neighboring countries, according to the GMS Transport Sector Strategy 2030. The strategy also noted the substantial scope for expanding the participation of the private sector in transport projects in the subregion.