A joint venture led by CP Group may be the front-runner in bidding for the Bt224 billion project to build a high-speed rail link between three international airports with the best offer in the third stage of bidding.
Warawut Mala, acting governor of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), said CP Holding's joint venture proposes to seek government subsidy for the construction cost of less than Bt119 billion, while the BSR Group, led by Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS), sought a subsidy higher than Bt119 billion.
The high-speed rail link is to connect Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-tapao airports.
Warawut said the BSR Group has not been ruled out of the bidding yet as the third-stage offer from the CP joint venture still has some questions regarding to financial affairs that need to be clarified.
Warawut added that the offer from BSR Group was clear and did not need clarification, although it asked for a construction cost subsidy higher than the ceiling.
Warawut said the SRT summoned the CP Group to clarify the financial information. But since the joint venture has China Railway Construction Corp as a major partner, CP has yet to consult the Chinese firm before meeting the SRT.
Warawut said the CP group has asked for time to meet SRT no later than December 21.
Warawut added that if the CP joint venture fails to clarify the financial information and if the SRT fails to negotiate with BSR Group to lower the demanded subsidy, the bidding will be reopened.
However, if the CP Group manages to clarify the information, it will be allowed to proceed to the fourth-stage of bidding.