Bangkok (VNA) - The proposed land bridge megaproject, which will connect Chumphon on the eastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand to Ranong on the Andaman Sea, will become a major transit port, with a capacity rivalling Hong Kong, according to Thailand's Transport Ministry.

Thai Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob was quoted by local media as saying that the land bridge, which will allow maritime traffic to bypass the congested waters off Singapore, will be able to handle some 20 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of cargo per year.

This is equivalent to the capacity of the port in Hong Kong, which is the world's eighth busiest port, the minister said.

He urged all stakeholders to come up with a design that would bring transit time down significantly below other routes in the region, to increase the land bridge's chances to become the preferred route between the Indian and Pacific oceans.

To promote the land bridge as a transit hub and attract international investment, the ministry will develop the area's supporting infrastructure.

The land bridge will be equipped with an automated container terminal to increase container load efficiency, which will ultimately result in a smoother journey from coast to coast, the minister said.

Saksayam said the government will keep the public informed of the economic, social and environmental impact of the project.

The land bridge was proposed after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the government's flagship project, the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), won't be enough to drive Thailand's economy.

The Thai government is actively looking to invest in a new megaproject, which is in line with the 20-year national strategy, he said.

According to the government's proposal, the land bridge will stretch some 100 kilometres between the the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman. It will consist of a road and railway that will link up sea ports on both coasts./.