ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

Malaysia Company to Perform Railroad Feasibility Study in Laos


A Malaysian private enterprise plans to conduct a feasibility study on a railroad project in Laos' Savannakhet Province to link with Thailand's and Vietnam's railway systems once the construction of a railroad from Vietnam to Laos has been completed.


Malaysia-based Giant Group Ltd. and Vietnamese railways authorities last month officially initialed a memorandum of understanding on their joint-venture to conduct a feasibility study to build a 100 km-long railway section to link Dong Ha City in Quangtri, Vietnam, to the Lao Bao check-point at the border with Densavanh Village in Savannakhet province of Laos, with the aim to complete the project as soon as possible depending on how quick the investor will be able to get financing. But the Giant Group expressed confidence that it will definitely be able to get funding from sources within Malaysia for this project, which is expected to cost at least US $2,500 million.


The Malaysian company has also signed an MOU with the government of Laos to conduct a feasibility study on a railway running from the Lao Bao border check-point to Kaysone Phom-vihan District in Savannakhet Province of Laos, to be linked eventually to Thailand's railroad system in the country's northeastern region. The Lao Bao-Savannakhet railroad will run along Route 9, with a total length of 220km and an expected cost of over US$5 billion.


In a related development, Lao and Thai officials are scheduled to launch the Thai-Lao railroad spanning from Thanaleng on the Laos side across the Mekong river to Thailand's Nongkhai Province and stretching all the way to Bangkok on March 5. After launch, the train will provide a regular service of two trips a day, at 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m​. The inauguration will be co-chaired by Mr. Bounnhang Vorachit, Vice President of Laos and Princess Prathep Rassasouda Sayam-bourom Rassakoummary of Thailand.


The railroad, spanning 3.50 km from Friendship Bridge to Thanaleng, cost 197 million Baht to build, 30% of which was a grant from the Thai government while the remaining 70% was a long-term, low-interest loan provided to the Lao government. In addition, during his visit to Laos in January, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva confirmed that the Thai government will help Laos build the 9-km link to further expand the recently completed railroad into the city. Lao officials believe that the Thanaleng-Nongkhai railroad, despite its short distance - only 3.5 km long, will reduce transportation problem by at least 50%, which will be beneficial to Laos in both its imports and exports.


Songrit Pongern reported from Bangko on 03/06/09. (English translation by Buasawan Simmala and Dara Baccam)


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