Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi denies he is meddling in the government's selection of contenders for its 300-billion-baht water management projects.
Plodprasop: ‘No lobbying took place’
Mr Plodprasop chairs the government's Water and Flood Management Commission (WFMC). He said Tuesday he had not lobbied for any contender to be selected or dropped.
The prime minister was not involved in the selections either, he added.
A source at the commission had said the process had been held up for the benefit of a Chinese bidder.
The WFMC academic and analytical sub-committee will meet today to conclude its selection of the qualified contenders.
The cabinet will review the selections next Tuesday. Mr Plodprasop said the list of qualified contenders should be announced on Feb 7.
The results were originally set to be released on Friday, pending the cabinet's review.
Apichart Anukul-ampai, head of the WFMC's academic and analytical sub-committee, said the nomination of eight qualified contenders was postponed because officials had to verify their registration in their native countries.
However, a member of the WFMC said the postponement resulted from a reluctance by members to disqualify a Chinese company.
Although the selection process was slightly behind schedule, Mr Plodprasop insisted the work would be finished by March 15 as planned. After the qualified contenders are announced, they would file their budgets, technical proposals and construction timetables to the government.
Bid winners will then schedule their construction projects to match the Finance Ministry's plans to release money to pay for the projects.
The government will borrow about 300 billion baht to pay for water management and flood prevention projects.
The WFMC last September shortlisted eight contenders for the water management scheme. They are China CAMC Engineering Co, which proposed a floodway project worth 120 billion baht; K-Water from South Korea; ITD-Powerchina Joint Venture; Summit SUT Joint Venture; Team Thailand Joint Venture; Thai-Japanese Joint Venture; TKC Global Consortium; and Loxley Consortium.
The government plans 10 modules of water management and flood prevention structures _ six modules in the Chao Phraya River basin worth 290 billion baht and four modules worth 34 billion baht in other river basins.
Mr Plodprasop said the WFMC would select three contenders to bid for each of the modules. The prime minister will report to the King on Feb 11 on the water management situation.