Terusan Thai. Foto/The Maritime Executive
JAKARTA – The Thai Canal is a plan for a canal that will pass through southern Thailand. The aim of establishing this project is to streamline transportation in the region.
Effectively, this canal will turn the Malacca Peninsula into an island. However, it should be noted that this project has not been realized for three decades until now.
However, until now there is no definite clarity regarding this ambitious project. To find out the development of information about the Thai Canal project, continue to pay attention to the following facts:
5 Facts About the Thai Canal Project
1. Development plans emerged since 1677
The idea of building a Thai Canal was first put forward by the King of Siam Narai in 1677. However, this idea had to be dashed because it did not have official permission from the colonial government that at that time occupied Thailand, namely England.
Even so, the idea for the project emerged back in the 1950s until now. However, the emergence of the idea to realize this project often occurs when a new government comes to power, so it seems as if it is just a political promise.
2. Has a length of 102 kilometers
If this ambitious project is truly built, the length of the building could reach 102 kilometers. In fact, the duration of the work can take eight to 10 years.
For this very long building model, the Thai government certainly needs to prepare quite a lot of funds. Quoted from the StraitsTimes page, this development will cost $28 billion or the equivalent of IDR 436 trillion.
3. Development Will Pass Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia
Please note that this ambitious project will pass through Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia. By passing this route, ships can shorten sailing time to 72 hours or a distance of 1,200 km.
Those who pass this route can also avoid the Malacca Strait which is classified as congested. Moreover, if you pass through the Thai Canal route, you will also avoid pirate activity, which has been increasing in recent years.
4. Impact of the Thai Canal on Thailand and Singapore
The Thai Canal route will very likely reduce the number of ships passing through Singapore. The maritime industry contributed around 7 percent to Singapore’s GDP in 2014.
In addition, Thailand’s economy can be directly boosted by such a project. Because, in the future there will be the potential for foreign investment to come in for the construction of ports, toll roads and other infrastructure.
5. The Thai Canal Project is Impossible to Realize
Observers of large projects say that building a canal to save 72 hours of travel is not significant enough. Apart from that, the construction of this fantastic value project is also impossible.
This could be due to environmental consequences and security considerations for the Thai Canal. Not to mention the existence of social, economic and foreign political problems that could prevent this project from happening.