Govt rushes to ink EEC deals

Govt rushes to ink EEC deals

Two contracts to be signed 'next month'

The government is pushing to get at least two contracts relating to the much-touted Eastern Economic Corridor project to be signed by next month. (Bangkok Post file photo)
The government is pushing to get at least two contracts relating to the much-touted Eastern Economic Corridor project to be signed by next month. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The government is pushing to get at least two contracts relating to the much-touted Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project to be signed by next month, before the new government is sworn in.

The EEC project consists of five different projects — including the 225-billion-baht development of a high-speed railway link across three airports, the 290-billion-baht construction of U-Tapao Aviation City, the set-up of an 11.6-billion-baht maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facility, as well as the third phases of the development of the Laem Chabang and Map Ta Phut seaports, which are valued at 84 billion baht and 47.9 billion baht, respectively.

A Charoen Pokphand-led (CP) consortium has been awarded the concession to develop the high-speed rail link between Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport, Samut Prakan’s Suvarnabhumi airport, and Rayong’s U-Tapao airport.

According to the secretary-general of the EEC Office (EECO), Kanit Sangsubhan, the project’s policy committee has already approved the contract and design of the project, which will be presented to the cabinet on May 28.

“We expect the proposal to be signed by June 15,” he said. “I believe the cabinet won’t have any issue with the contract, as it will help the government save some 2.5 billion baht.”

Mr Kanit said that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has also instructed officers to expedite the bidding process for the U-Tapao Aviation City project so the contract can be signed by next month.

Three groups have submitted their bids for the project on March 21 — including Thana Holding Joint Venture, which also includes CP.

The selection committee previously refused to accept Thana Holding’s supporting documents, which it submitted after the 3pm cut-off deadline on March 21.

As a result, Thana Holding petitioned the Central Administrative Court to review the decision on May 1. Mr Kanit said the committee is still waiting for the court’s ruling.

Mr Kanit said bidders are obliged to submit their technical specifications and cost breakdowns to the EEC committee by next week, before adding that a contract is likely to be signed next month.

For the third phase of Laem Chabang seaport development, the GPC consortium — led by PTT Tank Terminal Co and Gulf Energy Development Plc — and the NPC consortium have submitted their respective bids, but the latter’s bid was disqualified as it was incomplete.

The NPC consortium is appealing the decision.


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