Cabinet's caretaker role stalls TOT opportunities
TOT is worried about missing out on business opportunities because a new government is needed to endorse its participation in three major submarine-cable projects.
The state telecom enterprise has already lost the chance to join the Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1) consortium.
"TOT can't make the first payment on the due date, so TOT had to withdraw from the project," TOT chairman Suchart Wongananchai said.
TOT had planned to inject US$5.2 million (Bt168 million) or 10 per cent of the $52-million project as a first instalment as a consortium member last month.
Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2016.
"Actually TOT had already prepared a budget to invest but we had to get approval from the Cabinet, as all state-enterprise budgets need to be approved by the Cabinet," Suchart said.
TOT also wants to invest about Bt1 billion in the Southeast Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 5 (SEA-ME-WE 5) project next month, also pending Cabinet approval.
Last year TOT's board approved Bt5.9 billion for three submarine-cable projects, the above two plus the Southeast Asia Japan Cable System, which links up to seven countries and territories in Asia.
TOT, which is a member of SJC, is planning to spend Bt2 billion on setting up the link with the SJC project. Again, it is waiting for the Cabinet's green light.