By THE NATION
BEM managing director Sombat Kijjaluck said that the first project would be the MRT Orange Line (western part) that runs from Thailand Cultural Center to Bang Khun Non. “This project has an estimated value of Bt120 billion and will include the construction and administration of the train system under a 30-year concession contract.”
The second project that the BEM is eyeing is the MRT Purple Line (southern part) on the Taopoon-Ratburana route, a distance of 23.6 kilometres. “This project is worth around Bt100 billion and is the extension of the MRT Bangsue-Bangyai section that the company is currently operating,” added Sombat.
“BEM is confident that we will win the bids for both projects because of our expertise in tunnel boring and the fact that our operational cost will be lower than that of our competitors, as we can use the existing maintenance facilities of the MRT Blue Line,” he added. “We estimate that the two projects will help increase MRT users by 10-20 per cent in the next 5-10 years.”
Sombat added that BEM is strictly employing social distancing measures after the government eased lockdown measures and more commuters started using MRT services since earlier this month. “We have added 49 trains during rush hours in the morning and evening to reduce the crowd; we are alao disinfecting touching surfaces every two hours to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and other germs,” he said.
“The company’s profit from MRT and expressways in the first quarter of 2020 has slightly decreased due to the outbreak, but we estimate that things would improve in the next one or two months,” added Sombat. “Currently around 80-85 per cent of expressway users have returned as people travel more after the lockdown was lifted in several areas.”