BTSC: We will bid for Orange Line train project again if process is lawful, just
Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTSC) said it is on track to bid for the Orange Line train project again, but only if conditions are “lawful and just”.
“We are ready to participate in Orange Line bidding again, provided the conditions are lawful and just and the project prioritises the country’s benefits,” Keeree Kanjanapas, chairman of BTSC parent BTS Group Holdings (BTSG), made it clear on Tuesday.
The Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA) is scheduled to announce the timeline of the bidding process for its Minburi-Bang Khun Non Orange Line on Wednesday (July 27) after cancelling the previous bidding on February 3 last year following corruption allegations.
In late 2019, BTSC – one of the bidders for the Orange Line – had filed a lawsuit with the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases against the MRTA, claiming the bid conditions were altered at the request of Italian-Thai Development, another bidder, despite BTSC opposition.
The ensuing legal dispute saw the bidding scrapped altogether on February 3, 2021, for the 13.4-kilometre-long, 128-billion-baht western train section project.
The Orange Line stretches 13.4km, from Thailand Cultural Centre to Bang Khun Non station. The project includes construction of the tracks, installation of the train system and train operations for a total distance of 35.9km, from Minburi to Bang Khun Non stations.
The Orange Line is scheduled to open for public use in the third quarter of 2027.
BTSC is also fighting a legal case with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) over debt the city owes the company for installation of the Green Line train operating system and operational fees since 2017 that have now accumulated to nearly 40 billion baht.
The BMA has asked the company to clarify contract details, which it is happy to comply with, Keeree said on Tuesday.
He added, however, that the company will not be able to disclose contract details to a third party as it would violate the conditions stipulated in the public-private joint venture contract.
“The talks with the BMA are progressing nicely. The company insists we will not stop train operations, which would only affect the people,” he said.