By Tne Nation
The delayed high-speed rail project is getting closer to being inked by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and CP Holding’s joint venture once an agreement on some key details of this public-private partnership project (PPP) have been reached.
Warawut Mala, SRT’s acting governor, said the panel responsible for the 220-kilometre high-speed rail connecting three international airports will meet representatives of the CP Holding joint venture on Wednesday (September 11).
The two sides will discuss SRT’s handing over of land to the CP joint venture for the project’s construction. He said that after the Cabinet approved the concession in May, the two sides discussed details of the PPP project to ensure the government does not lose huge sums like it did with unfinished ventures like the Hopewell project. The two sides have agreed in principle that construction will begin as soon as SRT issues a notice to proceed.
“The two sides will sign a contract before the bid winner can proceed with the construction,” he added.
The notice will be issued when the SRT is ready to hand land over to the private partner in the PPP and CP Holdings agrees to proceed with the construction, he said, adding that the timeframe for completion is five years.
Warawut said the two sides can on Wednesday also set a date for contract signing if they have no new issues to discuss. The SRT will hand over 4,421 rai for the rail project within two years on the condition that one it can complete the expropriation of 850 rai.
The cost of the high-speed rail project connecting Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang international airports with U-Tapao in Rayong is Bt224.5 billion. The CP venture is seeking Bt117.2 billion in state support.