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BUSINESS

Thailand and consortium ink deal to build high-speed rail link

24/10/2019 08:33 PM

By Linda Khoo Hui Li

BANGKOK, Oct 24  -- The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has inked a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with a consortium led by Charoen Pokphand Group (CP) to build high-speed rail links between three international airports here.

The 224 billion Thai baht (RM30.96 billion) deal involves a high-speed rail linking Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-Tapao (in Rayong Province in Southern Thailand) airports, spanning 220 kilometres. The train can reach a maximum speed of 250 kilometres per hour.

The high-speed rail linking three airports is expected to open for public in 2023.

The rail link from Don Mueang Airport heading for Bang Sue Grand Station passes Makkasan Station and turns into Suvarnabhumi Airport. It continues along the eastern railway, passes the Bang Pakong River, enters Chachoengsao Station, Chon Buri Station, Si Racha Station, and Pattaya Station, and terminates at U-Tapao Airport.

The rail link is part of the Economic Corridor (EEC) initiative, an investment to build infrastructure and develop advanced industries along the country’s eastern coast. Total investment in the EEC is projected at 1.7 trillion baht.

CP Group chief executive officer Suphachai Chearavanont signed the agreement on behalf of the consortium, while Deputy Governor of Property Management Group and Acting Governor of SRT Voravuth Mala represented SRT.

Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan o-cha witnessed the signing ceremony at Government House today. 

The CP-led consortium won the project with a 224-billion baht bid in December last year. However, the signing between SRT and CP Group had been delayed. The consortium had until Friday to sign the agreement or will be fined for failing to honour the terms of bidding.

In a statement, SRT said the project would promote city development around the station, bring development to the community, and generate income among local residents.

“With an economic return of approximately 650,000 million baht (RM89.84 billion), it is a key to boost the Thai economy in response to the Thailand 4.0 Policy. It will create about 16,000 jobs during the construction period and more than 100,000 jobs in related field in the next five years,” it said.

The event also included the Signing Ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Supporting the High-Speed Rail Linking Three Airports Project between the Eastern Economic Corridor Office of Thailand (EECO).

Meanwhile, Voravuth said the signing of the agreement is another important step in Thailand’s infrastructure development under the strict supervision of EEC Policy Committee.  

“This is the first time the Thai government developed the high-speed rail project under the PPP programme with a net cost of 224,544 million baht.

“The country will get optimal interests from the concession agreement with the budget of 119,425 million baht (RM1=7.24 baht) approved by the Cabinet. As a result, the private sector proposed the budget of 117, 226 million baht.

“This helped save expense of up to 2,200 million baht under the 50-year PPP agreement. Furthermore, all assets will be state ownership at the end of the agreement,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Supachai said the construction is expected to start in 12 to 24 months and be completed within five years.

On behalf of the CP Holding and strategic alliances, he said after the signing, the management of Eastern High-Speed Rail Linking Three Airports Co., Ltd. would conduct field exploration and design, negotiations with contractors and suppliers, as well as speed up the construction plan and project implementation immediately.

"It is a historic moment in Thailand that the private sector signed the PPP Agreement with the public sector to promote this international mega construction project,” he said.

He thanked all strategic alliances both domestically and internationally such as Japan Bank for International Cooperation and China Development Bank, as well as the ambassadors of China, Japan and Italy in Thailand for supporting the global cooperation project.

--BERNAMA


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