Pak Bara deep sea port project, Thailand

Satun’s Mu Ko Phetra National Park, a source of local food and major tourism income is currently threatened with disappearance for building the Pak Bara Deep Sea Project . Villagers are protesting and demanding the cancellation of this project.


The Transport Ministry plans to link the new port in Satun province on the Andaman coast with a port in Songkhla province facing the Gulf of Thailand. Under the plan, it will be able to handle large container ships and supertankers from Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South Asia [1]. According to the Nation news in 2015, the Pak Bara Deep-sea Port project has been put on hold several times due to environmental concern and opposition from locals. The first proposal was in 1993 [4]. Local population warn of the multiple and potential negative  impact the project will bring to the Andaman coast.  It  would harm Satun’s Mu Ko Phetra National Park, a source of local food and major tourism income.  So local population are protesting and demanding the cancellation of the Pak Bara Deep Sea Port. As a protest, in October 2013, villagers marched about 220km from Pak Bara community to Songkhla [communities that will be afected by the port construction]. However, the Ministry of Transport ensures that " The port would be a green project which will not cause environment problem but will help promote tourism, transport and rail development" (Jun 2015) [3]. According to Bankong Post, there is one Environmental Impact Assessment approved in 2007, and the environmental health impact assessment (EHIA) is being developed and expected to be finished in 2016 .

Basic Data
NamePak Bara deep sea port project, Thailand
ProvinceSatun province
SiteAndaman coast, La Ngu district
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Deforestation
Land acquisition conflicts
Ports and airport projects
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Specific CommoditiesCoastal area
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsIt will open a logistics route between the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Thailand to the South China Sea. The port will be capable of accommodating large container ships and supertankers from Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

The project would suck up 13 million cubic metres of sand from the sea bed and require the blasting of 10 mountains to gather enough soil for landfill.

General service terminal with 300 m. long

Navigating Channel in primary stage will be dredged into -14.0 m. from lowest water level with 180 m. wide, and turning basin of 600 m. diameter sized.

Breakwater filled construction of 1,700 m. long.
Level of Investment (in USD)163,000,000
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Relevant government actorsThe Marine Department

Ministry of Transport
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersSueb Nakhasathien Foundation

Silent Power (an activist student group at Thammasat University)

The Network of Satun Watch
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Anti-government movement, students
Forms of MobilizationPublic campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Oil spills, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Malnutrition
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseNew Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The project is advancing.
Sources and Materials

[2] Pak Bara Deep Sea Port Project
[click to view]

[1] Protest against Pak Bara deep sea port in Satun
[click to view]

[3] Transport Minister assures Pak Bara deep-sea port project is a “green” project
[click to view]

[4] Prajin sets deadline for Pak Bara port plan
[click to view]


Conservationists join anti-government movement
[click to view]

Media Links

T.V news: Villagers to march against Pak Bara deep sea port construction
[click to view]

Other Documents

Source: A graphic rendition of Pak Bara Deep Sea Port which is to be built in Langu district of Satun province.
[click to view]

Source: Paritta Wangkiat Demonstrators raise flags while traveling on roads in Satun to voice opposition to the Pak Bara deep sea port project. Oct 2015
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorCarros de Combate and SM (ICTA-UAB)
Last update18/12/2016