27.1 C
Saturday, July 20, 2024

Buy now

High-Speed Rail to Link Three Airports by Year-End

High-Speed Rail Project Linking Major Airports to Launch This Year

The high-speed rail project connecting Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi, and U-Tapao airports is set to begin operations later this year after a revised agreement was reached between the government and project developers.

Anan Phonimdang, deputy governor of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), confirmed that the SRT board has approved the revised agreement. The proposal will now undergo review by the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Policy Committee and the cabinet to ensure the terms are fair to the state. The Notice to Proceed (NTP) is expected to be issued by the end of the year.

In 2018, Asia Era One, a consortium led by CP Group, was awarded the contract to construct the rail system for 224.5 billion baht. Despite being a crucial infrastructure project in the EEC, it encountered delays due to various challenges, including the impact of the pandemic.

The SRT and the Office of the EEC have renegotiated parts of the contract with the consortium to ensure the project’s completion. “The resolution is straightforward and based on principles. The consortium must provide an additional bank guarantee to ensure completion,” Mr. Anan explained.

The contract adjustments cover four main areas: payment for joint venture rights, government funding for the project, an additional bank guarantee, and investment promotion benefits. Under the revised terms, Asia Era One will fully settle the joint venture rights fee plus interest, totaling 11.7 billion baht, in seven installments.

The government will start funding the project 18 months after the NTP is issued, rather than at the beginning of train operations. Additionally, the consortium is required to provide another bank guarantee of 111.9 billion baht within 270 days following the contract adjustment.

Originally, the project was structured as a public-private partnership, with the government committing to invest approximately 111.9 billion baht. This includes 3.57 billion baht for land acquisition, with the remainder to be disbursed in the sixth year or after the commencement of train operations. Asia Era One has also requested government payments for ongoing construction efforts.

To secure the NTP, the company initially needed to obtain an investment promotion certificate from the Board of Investment. However, following a review that concluded on May 22, this requirement was waived, according to Mr. Anan.

Mr. Anan noted that if the NTP is issued as scheduled, the project is anticipated to be completed by 2029.

This significant development in Thailand’s infrastructure aims to enhance connectivity between its major airports, boosting economic growth and facilitating greater ease of travel for both residents and visitors.

Among those attending the discussions and subsequent approvals were key officials from the SRT, the EEC, and representatives from the CP Group-led consortium, highlighting the collaborative effort required to bring this high-speed rail project to fruition.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles