Three projects look to get on PPP fast-track
Another six remain stuck in the slow lane
At least three projects worth 447 billion baht under the fast-track public-private partnership scheme are expected to seek the PPP committee's approval this year.
The three projects are the Orange Line's eastern and western sections from Taling Chan to Min Buri, worth 238 billion baht; the Purple Line's southern extension between Kanchanaphisek Outer Ring Road and Tao Poon, valued at 128 billion; and the Nakhon Pathom to Cha-am, Phetchaburi motorway project, worth 80.6 billion, said Prapas Kong-Ied, director-general of the State Enterprise Policy Office (Sepo).
But six projects under the supervision of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand and the Highway Department are stuck in the slow lane as some face land handover problems, while others that are under construction have been beset by problems, including sewage system issues, he said.
Mr Prapas said construction of the Purple Line's southern extension and the Orange, Yellow and Pink lines will stay on track as the PPP committee has reached an agreement with other agencies to complete them as scheduled.
Those include two rest area projects for the Bang Pa-in-Nakhon Ratchasima motorway and the Bang Yai-Kanchanaburi motorway, and light rail tracks in Phuket, Chiang Mai and Nakhon Ratchasima.
The PPP committee also instructed the Sepo to survey the government's investment projects under the Public Investment in State Undertaking Act, for which contracts have already or are about to lapse, to identify which those which must proceed under the new Act.
The cabinet in April approved a long-awaited draft bill for the PPP Promotion Act, which will replace the Public Investment in State Undertaking Act.
The PPP committee last year approved a five-year strategic plan for joint investment projects worth 1.62 trillion baht.
The scheduled projects are intended to accelerate infrastructure investment amid budget constraints and sharpen the country's competitive edge.
Under the five-year strategic plan through 2021, 94% of the 1.62-trillion-baht budget will involve transport infrastructure, and overall logistics costs are projected to be cut by 2-3 percentage points from 13-14% of GDP once they are completed.
Transport projects under the five-year PPP strategic plan will be divided into two groups: projects for which the government wants the private sector to play a role, such as high-speed trains, rail systems in Bangkok and ports for shipping goods; and projects in which the government is encouraging the private sector to invest, such as airports and motorways.