Isthmus of Kra canal

Local Hua Hin and regional Thailand news articles and discussion.
Post Reply
User avatar
buksida
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 16696
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2002 12:25 pm
Location: south of sanity
Contact:

Isthmus of Kra canal

Post by buksida » Sat May 23, 2015 9:45 am

China has denied it is involved in work on the Kra canal, defusing hype over a project that purportedly lets ships bypass the Strait of Malacca and Singapore's port.

There are no plans by the Chinese government to participate, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular press briefing yesterday.

This echoed a statement on the same day by the Chinese embassy in Thailand, which said that China has not taken part in any study or cooperation on the matter.

This comes after Chinese media recently reported that China and Thailand had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Guangzhou to build a US$28 billion (S$37 billion) canal that cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Kra in southern Thailand.

Experts told The Straits Times that China would not embark on such a project lightly, given the political and bilateral implications. "China will have to consider the feedback from countries such as Singapore, which it has friendly ties with, given the impact that the Kra canal might have," said Dr Zhao Hong, an expert on China-Asean relations from the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Proponents of the Kra canal had been hopeful that China would lend its economic heft to the project. They believe it can be made part of China's Maritime Silk Road, which aims to facilitate maritime trade across South-east Asia, South Asia and beyond.

Last year, the Kra canal project briefly made news in China when several major Chinese state-owned construction firms, such as Xugong and Liugong, were linked to it. The companies, however, denied involvement.

Dr Zhao feels China might be open to private companies studying the feasibility of such a project, but will not directly back it for now.

Prior to the official denials, reports had said the proposed two-way Kra canal will be 102km long, 400m wide and 25m deep and take 10 years to construct.

Likened to other man-made channels such as the Suez canal, it would allow ships to bypass the congested Malacca Strait and is estimated to cut shipping distance by 1,200km. It is also likely to reduce the number of ships travelling through Singapore, one of the busiest ports in the world.

Little information is available on the China-Thailand Kra Infrastructure Investment and Development, and Asia Union Group, the two organisations involved in the MOU signing. Reports said the Asia Union Group's chairman is former Thai premier Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, a long-time supporter of the Kra canal.

Yesterday, the Chinese embassy in Thailand clarified that the organisations have no links to the Chinese government. Separately, Xinhua news agency traced the announcement of the canal project to another Chinese firm Longhao, which declined comment when contacted.

Dr Li Zhenfu from Dalian Maritime University feels that even if the canal is built, the impact on Singapore might be limited.

"Distance is important but ships have to consider services and facilities as well," he told The Straits Times. "The foundation and reputation that Singapore's port has built up cannot be replicated immediately."

Source: Straits times
Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? - Hunter S Thompson

User avatar
usual suspect
Ace
Ace
Posts: 1737
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 10:10 pm
Location: Huahin

Re: China not involved in Isthmus of Kra canal

Post by usual suspect » Sat May 23, 2015 3:15 pm

Well there's plenty of labour on board fishing boats locally that could get the canal started...find 8000 spades (OK..some 360' diggers), build decent temporary accomodation, feed the workforce 3 meals a day..AND give them a wage.

User avatar
kendo
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3817
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:11 pm
Location: Southampton.

Re: China not involved in Isthmus of Kra canal

Post by kendo » Sat May 23, 2015 3:45 pm

Interesting I wonder how much transit time would be reduced the Container ships we handle can do Singapore to Southampton in 14 days.
Is Bangkok a place or a nasty injury.......Eric Morcombe.


Proud to be a Southampton FC Fan.

User avatar
Bamboo Grove
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5007
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 12:59 pm
Location: So Far From The Bamboo Grove

Re: China not involved in Isthmus of Kra canal

Post by Bamboo Grove » Sat May 23, 2015 3:53 pm

I still think that China would rather have a rail connection from Dawei (Burma) to China than build the Kra canal. This way it would avoid both going through the Malacca Strait and sailing in the quite likely to happen armed conflicts in South-China sea.

I wonder if it would be too expensive to build a railroad to Ranong. I know there are mountains but if a canal can be built so why not a railroad. That way China would also avoid the political problems it has with Burma.
So Far From The Bamboo Grove
http://bamboogrovestories.blogspot.com/

User avatar
buksida
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 16696
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2002 12:25 pm
Location: south of sanity
Contact:

Re: Isthmus of Kra canal

Post by buksida » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:47 pm

Is Vietnam Angling In?
Talk just will not go away about a possible shipping lane – the Kra Canal – that, if it ever were to materialise, would be built through Thailand’s Kra Isthmus, enabling ships to bypass the Straits of Malacca, and, in the process, Singapore’s port hub.

The long-touted idea of such a canal, while conveniently linking the Gulf of Thailand with the Indian Ocean, is fraught with regional geopolitical sensitivities. Recent developments would elevate that to include China-United States sensitivities, as well. This is particularly so after Chinese media reported in May that China and Thailand had signed a memorandum of understanding in Guangzhou to build the Kra Canal for US$28 billion (S$39.4 billion).
Enter the Vietnam angle?

Officials from both countries quickly denied the report in a matter of days. Still, that did not stop speculation that the project will be revived. Then in July, Vietnam announced that it would build a US$2.5 billion deep-water seaport, named Kr, on an island 17 km off the coast of Ca Mau, Vietnam’s southern-most province. The project was approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

On the surface, any link between Hon Khoai Port and the Kra Canal – which various quarters of the Thai political and business elite would like to see built – would not seem apparent. This is because the deliberation over the port has been couched within the larger issue of Vietnam’s decision to increase its coal imports to meet growing energy needs.

True, a Wall Street Journal report cited Indonesia and Australia as the “most promising” among four coal providers, besides China and India, for Vietnam. Sitting astride the Gulf of Thailand and the East Sea, Hon Khoai Port is well sited to receive Indonesian and Australian shipments. But the decision to build the port does not really make complete economic sense – until it is superimposed on the potentially heady commercial traffic the Kra Canal stands to provide.


More > http://www.establishmentpost.com/thaila ... m-angling/
Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? - Hunter S Thompson

User avatar
buksida
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 16696
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2002 12:25 pm
Location: south of sanity
Contact:

Re: Isthmus of Kra canal

Post by buksida » Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:37 am

Kra Isthmus Canal on backburner
THAILAND'S Kra Isthmus Canal project is unlikely to be implemented any time in the near future because of multiple geo-political and economic challenges involving a super power and regional stakeholders, according to a senior Thai diplomat.
Thongchai Chaswath, director-general of Department of Consular Affairs, said that if the canal project to link the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea was implemented it would affect the status quo of regional security and economic arrangements.

But Thongchai, a Mandarin-speaking China expert at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, said his view was personal and did not represent the ministry's position.

China has proposed three potential routes for this scheme in southern Thailand as Beijing announced its Belt and Road initiative involving the ancient Silk Road maritime and land-based trade routes.

It plans to revive the routes to boost trade and investment ties with more than 60 countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.

Thongchai said there were a number of key factors that made the Kra Canal project unlikely at this stage, including the interests of existing stakeholders, such as Singapore, being affected.

He said the regional security arrangements and the US's interests would also be affected, while there was the deep-seated fear of China's threat to consider as well.

More: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politic ... 72549.html
Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? - Hunter S Thompson

User avatar
buksida
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 16696
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2002 12:25 pm
Location: south of sanity
Contact:

Re: Isthmus of Kra canal

Post by buksida » Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:36 am

Massive canals project to be explained
THE committee studying the feasibility of the Klong Thai Canals project launched a campaign yesterday to inform people in five affected provinces about the benefits of a new navigation canal, which would cut through the Malay Peninsula and reduce the existing shipping route through the Malacca Strait by 700 kilometres.

The committee headed by General Phongthep Thetprateeb, secretary-general of the General Prem Tinsulanonda Statesman Foundation, held a meeting at the Thammarin Thana Hotel in Trang with politicians, local authorities, and officers from five provinces that the project will pass through – Trang, Krabi, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung and Songkhla.

After the meeting, they said project coordinators in the five provinces would seek to inform people along the route about the benefits of the project and urge them not to resist the development.
Phongthep said studies into the Klong Thai Canals project had shown how it would boost local economies, improve the livelihood of people through job creation, and help resolve the insurgency in the South and spur more stability.

“This project will make Thailand great on a global scale. It will improve global marine navigation and benefit Thailand directly,” he said, adding that navigation in the Malacca Strait was already overcrowded and faced danger from pirates.

The new canals would cut through the Malay Peninsula and link the Andaman Sea to the Gulf of Thailand, shortening the journey around the Malay Peninsula by 700 kilometres. Klong Thai Canals would be 140 kilometres long, 400 metres wide and 30 metres deep. There would be two parallel canals with major roads, rail lines and bridges along the canals – if it gets the go-ahead.

It was disclosed that the budget for the project would be about Bt1.68 trillion. Construction would take six years to complete and it was estimated that the project would make a profit of around Bt120 billion per year.

However, Phatthalung activist Senee Jawisuth said local people had heard only the positive side of the project, as no one had told them about the impact from such a huge construction project.
“The volunteers informing the people about the Klong Thai Canals project are actually paid for their work. They only tell the good things about the canals and I am very worried that if the project gets the green light, local people and the environment will suffer badly,” Senee said.

He said the canals would be built near the important Thale Noi wetland in Phattalung – home to many species of birdlife.

Ideas to build a shipping canal through the narrow isthmus in southern Thailand have been floated from time to time over recent decades, but they never materialised due to concerns over security and the environment.

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30299869
Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? - Hunter S Thompson

hhinner
Ace
Ace
Posts: 1598
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:17 pm

Re: Isthmus of Kra canal

Post by hhinner » Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:17 pm

There's already lots said about the benefits and otherwise of this canal, but I think it's the first time I've seen that it would help resolve the insurgency in the south. How would it help?

User avatar
STEVE G
Hero
Hero
Posts: 12126
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 3:50 am
Location: HUA HIN/EUROPE

Re: Isthmus of Kra canal

Post by STEVE G » Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:02 pm

hhinner wrote:There's already lots said about the benefits and otherwise of this canal, but I think it's the first time I've seen that it would help resolve the insurgency in the south. How would it help?
I think the idea is that the wealth derived from the economic development of the area would be counter to the attractions of radical Islam. If that fails you could use it as a barrier to stop them getting to Bangkok!

JayTee
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:11 pm

Re: Isthmus of Kra canal

Post by JayTee » Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:55 pm

The Kra Canal would be a divide between the capitalist north from the communist south, so a rail connection sounds plausible instead - in view of the latest development:-

"A RM43 billion (S$14 billion) harbour being developed in Malacca aims to overtake Singapore as the largest port in the region, but questions are being raised about the need for the added capacity and whether China's eager participation has to do with good business or its crucial strategic interests in the Malacca Strait.

For China, not only does most of its trade pass through the Malacca Strait, but so does up to 80 per cent of its energy needs. This prompted then President Hu Jintao to make the "Malacca Dilemma" a key strategic issue as far back as 2003.

"There is the strategic element of the Malacca Strait. It always starts with an economic presence, which can develop into a naval one, because China will be obliged to ensure the safe passage of its commercial ships," said Dr Johan Saravanamuttu of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies..."
See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/busines...strategic-aims

User avatar
hhfarang
Hero
Hero
Posts: 10910
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 1:27 am
Location: North Carolina

Centuries in the making: Will Thailand build a 100km canal?

Post by hhfarang » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:24 pm

"If Thailand's canal is ever built, it won't be the world's longest, but it surely will claim to have had the longest gestation period.

The idea of building a shipping lane from one side of the country to the other, linking the Gulf of Thailand, or Gulf of Siam as it was known at the time, with the Andaman Sea and Indian Ocean, was first proposed by King Narai in 1677.

Obviously, it didn't happen at the time. Throughout the centuries, however, the idea has repeatedly been brought up by monarchs, politicians, soldiers and businessmen, and, each time, the plans have been shelved because they've been deemed impractical, too expensive or detrimental to the nation's security.

Now, in 2018, the proposal is back, thanks to a group of businessmen, former politicians and retired military generals who believe the time is right for the Thai government to commit to building the 100km canal.

The idea is to shorten journeys for ships travelling from, for example, Europe and China. At the moment, those ships have to travel through the dangerous and congested Malacca Strait, often stopping in Singapore to refuel or unload along the way. The Thai canal would cut more than 1,000km off the journey.

So why now? There are two, possible answers to that question, and the main one can be found in who is in charge in Thailand right now.
Military efficiency

Since a coup in 2014, Thailand has been under military rule. The generals enjoy ultimate power to make decisions about projects, without having to be concerned about democratic processes and constituents staging protests, although that has happened in a handful of cases since the coup, and could happen again if the canal plan starts to gain some traction.

This is the project that will stimulate our economy faster than any other project that we have right now.

Pakdee Tanapura, Canal Study Team

There are concerns from environmental groups about what effect the project might have on some areas where ships would pass through.

The current backers of the canal openly admit that it would be easier to push it through under a military government than a democratically-elected, civilian one.

So far, the Thai government has shown no interest in even agreeing to conduct a feasibility study, let alone sign off on the $30bn, but supporters of the idea hope to use economics to convince the country's Prime Minister, General Prayuth Chan-ocha.

"He has to come to the understanding that this is the project that will stimulate our economy faster than any other project that we have right now," said Pakdee Tanapura of the Canal Study Team.

One of the concerns for the prime minister is the location of the canal. There are several, proposed sites, but the favoured one sits just above the three southernmost provinces, where armed Muslim groups are fighting for independence from predominantly Buddhist Thailand. The canal could create a border between the south and the rest of Thailand, thus emboldening the claim of the separatists.
A new Silk Road

The second answer to the question about timing lies in China, where the supporters of the canal have close ties. They're trying to take advantage of Beijing's Belt and Road infrastructure initiative that aims to improve transport and trade routes between China, the rest of Asia, Europe, the Middle East and beyond.

The Chinese government and private companies are pouring billions of dollars into mega-projects, like a high-speed train line that will run from Yunnan Province in southern China to Laos and Thailand.

The canal could conceivably fit into Chinese President Xi Jinping's grand plans to build a new Silk Road, but while there is some interest in the project from private enterprise in China, there is none from the government.

At the moment, Thailand's canal is still just an idea, albeit one that's been centuries in the making.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera"

https://www.aljazeera.com/blogs/asia/20 ... 22240.html
My brain is like an Internet browser; 12 tabs are open and 5 of them are not responding, there's a GIF playing in an endless loop,... and where is that annoying music coming from?

handdrummer
Ace
Ace
Posts: 1196
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:58 am

Re: Centuries in the making: Will Thailand build a 100km canal?

Post by handdrummer » Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:34 am

Whether or not the canal got built he feasibility study alone would generate millions for several individuals, similar to the river walk in Bangkok. Money spent, ain't gonna happen.

User avatar
404cameljockey
Ace
Ace
Posts: 1360
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2016 5:14 am

Re: Centuries in the making: Will Thailand build a 100km canal?

Post by 404cameljockey » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:05 am

If Thailand had ever been under Western rule it would have had a canal 200 years ago. Don't read anything into that statement that's not there.

oakdale160
Rock Star
Rock Star
Posts: 3517
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:51 pm

Re: Centuries in the making: Will Thailand build a 100km canal?

Post by oakdale160 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:49 am

I cant concentrate on this project, I'm too excited about the High-Speed Train that will be here sooooon.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests