The Thailand Ambassador to Kuala Lumpur Damrong Kraikruan said in no uncertain terms: The Kra Canal is gone. “It is not a viable project,” he said a group of journalist from Malaysian news agencies at his residence in Kuala Lumpur.
When asked where is the much talked about Kra Canal project heading, he simply said it was not economically viable. He said the area did not have deep sea port capabilities, and it could not get the banking and finance support like Singapore.
According to a story to be published in Malay Mail – a local news daily in Klang Valley – tomorrow, the Ambassador said: “Seagoing vessels are getting bigger and wider…if they build Kra it has to be at least 20km across.”
Nikkei Asian Review last month sparked more speculation on the progress in the Kra canal saying it was part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and it with Chinese influence the project may kick-start with a $28bn tag.
The seaway, Nikkei said in August, the plan the generals and businessmen had in mind is one of the most ambitious and transformational infrastructure megaprojects ever contemplated in Asia.
It said the construction of the 135km shipping canal across Thailand’s narrow Isthmus of Kra to link the Pacific and Indian oceans had the purpose of bypassing the narrow, traffic-choked, piracy-prone and strategically sensitive Malacca Strait, the world’s busiest trade route, which links China, Japan and other East Asian nations with the oil fields of the Middle East and major markets in Europe, Africa and India.
More to come.