THE selection committee of the Bt224.5-billion high-speed railway project will today discuss a “special proposal” from Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group) and its allies, while State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has called for a two-week extension to the negotiation period before contract signing.
Worawut Mala, acting SRT governor, said CP’s plan included social development and that after today’s meeting on the proposal, the next process of negotiations with the group will take another two weeks.
CP Group, controlled by billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont, proposed the lowest government subsidy for the rail-link project connecting Don Mueang International Airport, Suvarnabhumi International Airport and U-Tapao Airport in the eastern province of Rayong. The contract signing date is set for January 31.
Worawut said if the CP Group-headed proponents did not have any additional proposal, the selection committee will start negotiations with the group on the details of their special proposal.
Based on the group’s financial proposal, the project’s net present value (NPV) was set at Bt117.227 billion, about Bt52.707 billion lower than that of the other bidder – the BSR Joint Venture comprising BTS Group Holdings, Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction and Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding, as well as the no-more-than-Bt119.425-billion budget the Cabinet had agreed for the joint project.
If negotiations with CP Group failed, the selection committee will invite BSR Joint Venture to forward its special proposal and start negotiations.
The project winner will gain the rights to develop and manage the high-speed railway project and administer the Makkasan area for 50 years.
Of the total investment, Bt168 billion will be invested in the railway system connecting the three airports, Bt45.1 billion for property development and Bt10.6 billion for the rights to Airport Rail Link operation, with an estimated economic return of about Bt700 billion throughout the contract period.
The 220-kilometre high-speed system will have a top speed of 250 kilometres per hour linking Suvarnabhumi to U-Tapao, and 160 kilometres per hour from Don Muang to Suvanabhumi. There will be nine stations along the route – Don Mueang, Bang Sue, Makkasan, Suvarnbhumi, Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Sri Racha, Pattaya and U-Tapao.
The project will also involve the commercial development of 150 rai (24 hectares) in Makkasan and 25 rai at Sri Racha station.