High-speed airport rail in EEC moving along

High-speed airport rail in EEC moving along

The high-speed rail project linking Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-tapao airports is moving ahead, with the environmental impact assessment (EIA) scheduled to go before the National Environmental Policy Committee for approval on Monday.

According to Kanit Sangsubhan, secretary-general of the Eastern Economic Corridor Office, the EIA for the 225-billion-baht high-speed rail project linking the three airports passed vetting by the subcommittee on the environment on June 7.

Once approved by the National Environmental Policy Committee, the State Railway of Thailand will sign a contract with the winning consortium led by Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, possibly in early July.

On May 28, the cabinet approved a draft joint venture contract for the project.

The CP Group-led consortium includes China Railway Construction Corporation, Bangkok Expressway and Metro, Italian-Thai Development, Ch. Karnchang and Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corp for Transport and Urban Development.

The high-speed railway linking the three key airports will be the first EEC infrastructure project to begin construction out of five megaprojects under the flagship scheme.

The others are U-tapao aviation city; a maintenance, repair and overhaul centre at U-tapao airport; the third phase of Laem Chabang seaport; and the third phase of Map Ta Phut port. The five EEC infrastructure projects are worth a combined 650 billion baht.

According to Mr Kanit, the EEC Policy Committee chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is also set to meet today to provide an update on the latest progress of the main infrastructure projects.

A key item is the proposal of the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) to approve the draft contract between the IEAT and the winning bidder, a consortium led by PTT and Gulf Energy Development, for the third phase of Map Ta Phut port.

On June 11, the cabinet approved a renegotiated result for the third phase of Map Ta Phut port between the EEC Office and the IEAT and the winning bidder.

Upon renegotiation, the winning bidder has agreed to raise return on investment for the project to 6.721 billion baht, up from 6.61 billion.

The IEAT plans to spend 710 million baht for annual land reclamation, down from a previous proposal of 720 million.

The Map Ta Phut auction attracted 18 firms to buy bid envelopes, but only one bidder, a consortium led by PTT and Gulf Energy Development, qualified for all the criteria to bid 55.4 billion baht on the project.

The project is in the form of a public-private partnership.

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