Tuesday, August 11, 2020

BEM and BTS fight over Bt140bn Orange line project

Jul 13. 2020
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By The Nation

Four companies have expressed interest in bidding to build and operate the Bt140-billion Orange Line extension linking the Thailand Cultural Centre with Bang Khun Non.

The MRT extension will run a distance of 35.9 kilometres under a public-private partnership project. The project is divided into construction of the line (Bt110 billion) and a 30-year concession to operate the system (Bt30 billion).

The four companies who bought bid envelopes on July 10 are the BTS Group Holding Company; Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction; Bangkok Expressway and Metro (BEM); and Chor Karnchang (CK).

However, only two are expected to submit bids – Skytrain operator BTS and Expressway operator BEM.

"There are two private companies to watch in this project auction that have already bought the envelopes,” said Surachet Laophulsuk, Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) deputy governor.

“The private bidder which offers the highest return to the state will win the Orange Line auction. We hope to attract attention from other private entities and also lure foreign countries into the bidding as well," he added.

Bid envelopes can be purchased until July 24. Bid submissions can be made until September 23.

BEM managing director Sombat Kitjalaksana said that the company is ready for the bidding as BEM’S holding company, CK, has long experience in tunnelling work and has partnered up with CP Group to build a high-speed railway connecting three airports.

Meanwhile Surapong Laoha-Unya, executive director of BTS Group Holdings, said that BTS registered for bidding on the Orange Line project on the first day after carefully studying the project and forming alliances to invest in bidding with STEC.

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