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CP’s high-speed rail contract to be revised due to Covid impact

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The Eastern Economic Corridor Office (EECO) will allow CP Group, the contractor of the high-speed rail project linking three airports (Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-Tapao), to adjust the contract terms due to the impact on estimated commuter numbers from the Covid-19 outbreak.

“The project estimates 80,000 passengers, but due to travel restrictions during the Covid-19 outbreak this number is unlikely to be achieved,” The EECO secretary-general, Kanit Sangsubhan, said on Monday. “Therefore, the office will discuss with CP Group adjustment to the contract terms by extending the period in which CP can collect commercial profits from the project. The extension will be considered while protecting the government’s benefits and being fair to the private partners.”

Kanit added that the high-speed rail project in the section between Suvarnabhumi and U-Tapao airports is progressing as planned. The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) had delivered over 3,400 rai (544 hectares) of land to CP Group to prepare for the construction.

“Currently there are about 20 rai of land that the current owners are not ready to move out of, but the SRT maintains that they will find them new residences and deliver the land before May,” he said.

The EECO has also established a new wholly owned subsidiary called EEC Airport Asset Development Ltd to handle the commercial benefit arrangement in the Aerotropolis project at U-Tapao Airport with private partners in the first 10 years. The office will also declare the Aerotropolis a special economic zone and will grant special visas and work permits at 5+5 years for investors and employees in the Aerotropolis in a bid to attract foreign investment.

Published : February 22, 2022