Oral Reply by Acting Minister for Transport Chee Hong Tat to Parliamentary Question on Proposed Port and Land Bridge Development in Thailand

07 Nov 2023In Parliament
Mr Saktiandi Supaat asked the Minister for Transport 

a.     what is the projected impact on Singapore’s sea ports of Thailand’s project to build two deep sea ports with a rail and road system to link access between the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand; and 

b.     how can the competitiveness of Singapore’s sea ports be further boosted to maintain their contribution to Singapore’s economy.

Mr Liang Eng Hwa asked the Minister for Transport what is the likely impact of Thailand’s proposed land bridge project on Singapore’s status and competitiveness as a global seaport.

Reply by Acting Minister for Transport Chee Hong Tat:

1.     Mr Speaker, may I have your permission to answer Questions 8 and 9 on today’s Order Paper? My reply will also address Written Question 14 by Miss Cheryl Chan for today’s sitting.

2.     A land bridge in Thailand could shorten the travelling time for some vessels by a few days compared with sailing through the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. The exact time saving will depend on many factors, such as the time needed to unload the cargo from the vessel, then transport it across the land bridge and load onto the vessel at the other end. These would likely incur additional expenses for shipping companies, so they need to consider the overall costs versus benefits compared to sailing through the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.

3.     Singapore will continue to focus on enhancing our port’s connectivity, productivity and competitiveness. This includes the use of technology to make port calls more efficient, and work with industry to catalyse the development and availability of cleaner bunkering fuels. The development of Tuas Port will also allow us to accommodate mega container ships, providing shipping companies with the necessary capacity and connectivity to meet their future needs.

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