PPP panel gives nod to two projects

PPP panel gives nod to two projects

B4bn for border freight centre, transport hub

An aerial view of Muang Nakhon Phanom on the Mekong River. The area will get a new border freight centre. PATTANAPONG SRIPIANCHAI
An aerial view of Muang Nakhon Phanom on the Mekong River. The area will get a new border freight centre. PATTANAPONG SRIPIANCHAI

The public-private partnership (PPP) committee has approved two more joint investment projects worth a combined 4 billion baht, says the head of the State Enterprise Policy Office (Sepo).

The two projects are a border freight centre in Nakhon Phanom province worth 1.36 billion baht and a transport interchange centre in Chiang Rai province making up the rest, director-general Prapas Kong-Ied said after the PPP committee meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak.

Both projects are in accordance with the government's policy to develop infrastructure and logistics in border zones.

The government will take responsibility for supplying land and shoulder the costs for infrastructure development and civil works at the border freight hub, while the private sector will fund costs for building construction, equipment, and operations and maintenance throughout the 30-year period.

For the transport interchange centre, the government will supply land and invest in infrastructure, while the private sector will invest in product removal equipment, building construction, systems related to transport and logistics management, and operating and maintenance systems for 15 years.

The PPP committee instructed Sepo and the Transport Ministry to consider whether the 79-billion-baht road linking Nakhon Pathom and Cha-am should have status as a motorway or as a concession highway.

Other projects expected to seek committee approval this year are the Purple Line's southern extension between Kanchanaphisek Outer Ring Road and Tao Poon and the Orange Line's eastern and western sections from Taling Chan to Min Buri, worth 366 billion baht in total.

Phuket province's mass transit system is also expected to go before the committee this year, one year earlier than scheduled.

The committee acknowledged various PPP projects with a period of less than five years remaining on their joint-investment contracts. The panel ordered related state agencies to speed up plans to deal with these projects after the contracts lapse.

There are three options for these projects: the government undertaking them, opening bids to let new private partners join, or permitting existing private partners to operate further, Mr Prapas said, adding that the likeliest alternative is the third one.

He noted eight projects whose remaining period of contract is less than five years, including the rights to produce and distribute tap water held by Pathum Thani Tap Water Co Ltd and the communications satellites operated by Thaicom Plc.

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