On 30th Jun 12 the minister of Transportation and Communications Mr.Jarupong Reangsuwan held a meeting with the Phuket Habour Department; Director of Marine Region 5 – Mr.Wichai Kamkong, Director of Phuket Marine Department – Mr.Phuripat Theerakulpisuth and Director of Phuket Deep Seaport – Mr.Wattanachai Reangleartpanyakul. The meeting was held at the meeting room of the Phuket Deep Seaport, Panwa and discussed the problems faced with the Phuket’s Harbour expansion project.
Mr.Wattanachai said that although Phuket Harbour is a good location and has a depth suitable for large ships, it was originally designed for general cargo ship only, and now Phuket has become the main passenger terminal of Thailand’s South Coast. Another issue is that the port is not long enough, if two big boats come in at the same time, one of them will have to wait, and therefore this needs to be adjusted.
To solve the problems, a project entitled Phuket’s Deep Seaport Development has been set with the aim of improving tourism facilities, separating the areas between cargo and passengers ships, and lengthening the pier southwards by 60m. Once the plans have been modified they will once again be presented to Environmental Board, who will assess what damage the changes will have on the environment.
Mr.Jarupong summarised that the biggest problem faced is getting the plans passed by the Environmental Board; they are an independent organization and are therefore not controlled by the government. However, he is sure the government will find ways to solve the problems and that the project will start as soon as possible