BSR Joint Venture Group has flagged it wants to chase work on all the infrastructure projects in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) after the group won approval to build two monorail routes worth Bt100 billion.
BSR secured the monorail deals on Tuesday, and the contracts will be signed with the government on June 16, BTS Group Holdings chairman Keeree Kanjanapas told a press conference yesterday.
BTS Group holds a 75 per cent stake in the joint venture group, which has registered capital of Bt28 billion. The second-largest holder is Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction with 15 per cent. Ratchaburi Electricity Generation Holding holds the remainder.
“We are interested in developing all the infrastructure projects in the EEC area, such as high-speed rail links and a double-track rail system, etc, that the government will open for bidding by continuing to work with our business partners at BSR Joint Venture Group in seeking all the infrastructure business that is available in Thailand,” Keeree said.
He said the group has enough funds to develop the infrastructure projects earmarked for the EEC area as well as both the monorail line routes. The monorail projects comprise the Pink Line, from Khae Rai to Min Buri and the Yellow Line, from Lat Phrao to Samrong, with a combined 64 kilometres, that were approved for construction by the cabinet on Tuesday.
The group would also propose to the government that it to agree to extensions to both lines that would add a total of four stations, requiring a combined Bt6 billion additional investment that the group can cover by itself, said Keeree, who added that contracts with banks would be signed for the loans required for the work approved at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.
Keeree said he expected that both monorail projects would generate a return on investment averaging 8 per cent a year. With the additional four stations, this return could reach into the double digits, he added.
Under the contacts approved by the cabinet, BSR Joint Venture will construct the two monorail routes under a public-private partnership. The group will propose to the government that it agree to a 2.8km extension for the Pink Line, adding two stations, from Si Rat station to a site near the Impact Challenger complex and the Muang Thong Thani lake. The extension would cost Bt3 billion. BSR Joint Venture said the group was willing to cover the extra investment because of its confidence in the additional value from the line extension, citing its servicing of a population of 150,000 people, in addition to an average of 10 million visitors a year drawn to the area for events and activities.
Yellow Line extension
The group would propose a 2.6 kilometre extension of the Yellow Line, from Ratchada station to a proposed new station near Ratchayothin intersection. This will link with a new station on the Green North extension route, serving people who use the Green North extension route to connect with the Yellow Line. This extension would lead to an increase in passenger numbers, justifying the group’s willingness to invest the required Bt3 billion, Keeree said.
“We will propose these plans to the government and do an environmental impact assessment that may be finished within a year from now,” Keree said.
“This will benefit both the public and private sectors because the government would not have to pay for the extended routes. The passengers also will have the benefit of the added convenience and we also believe that the extended routes will increase the passenger numbers beyond the early estimates of 120,000 a day. In total, this will also increase the number of passengers who use rail system that is managed by BTS Group Holdings, which combines the 67 kilometres on our existing route from Mo Chit to Samrong and the 71 kilometres from our two news routes, from an average 800,000 a day to 1.5 million or 2 million a day.”
Both lines will offer ticket prices at between Bt14 and Bt42, as stated at the time of the bidding. Prices will adjust in line with inflation, but they would have to align with the purchasing power of passengers, Keeree said.
Pakpoom Srichamni, president of Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction, said that the company would be ready to proceed with construction after the signing agreement with the government on June 16. The monorail projects would require 39 months of construction and then operate under a 30-year concession. During construction, the projects would generate between 6,000 and 10,000 new jobs. The company would continue to collaborate with its joint venture group partners in seeking to expand investment in infrastructure projects nationwide, especially in the EEC area, Pakpoom said.
Kijja Sripatthangkura, chief executive of Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding, said that the firm would build electricity systems for the two projects, and was ready to work with BTS Group Holdings on other infrastructure projects.