BTS ‘months away’ from finalising joint investment in |high-speed airports rail link, with PTT possibly in the frame

Corporate June 13, 2018 01:00

By   THE NATION

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BTS Group Holdings Plc expects to finalise within months a deal for joint investment in the high-speed train project that will connect the Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-Tapao international airports.



The company also revealed that it has had discussions with PTT Plc on the energy giant possibly joining in on the investment.

Surapong Laoha-Unya, director of BTS Group Holdings, said that the company expected to conclude its joint investment arrangement in August or September this year. This would follow its planned purchase of the bid document’s terms of reference (TOR) for the high-speed train project. The project's TOR will be released for sale on June 18. BTS Group Holdings will buy the TOR as BRS Joint Venture, which consists of BTS, Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction and Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding.

Surapong said that PTT has had discussions with BTS Group Holdings and is awaiting the details in the TOR before starting negotiations on joint investment. Several foreign investors have also discussed with BTS Group Holdings the possibility of joint investment in system work.

November 12 has been set as the submission date for the bid documents.

"Siemens will also help in system work, but not in the form of joint investment. Everything is expected be clear within two or three months after we buy the TOR, as the project must be studied in detail," Surapong said.

He said that the company found the government's proposed subsidy in the initial period to be interesting and commercial development for project areas would be attractive business opportunities.

In regard to mass rapid transit system’s Yellow and Pink lines, Surapong said that Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA) will deliver areas for the construction of the MRT’s Pink Line - for the 34.5-kilometre Kae Rai-Min Buri section with investment of Bt46 billion and the Yellow Line’s 30.4 km Lat Phrao-Samrong section at Bt45 billion - after delays since the contracts were signed in June 2017.

 “Now, it's clear that there will be area delivery for construction which will start in June. Originally, construction was scheduled to take 39 months to completion. But for both projects, the company will rush to take less than 39 months to complete construction in order that service commencement scheduled in 2021 will not be affected," Surapong said.

The company is also improving its fare ticket system from magnetic strip tickets to chip cards in expectation of bringing in the new cards in December, he said.

 

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