CP awaits ruling on airport bid

CP awaits ruling on airport bid

'No problem' filing documents on day

The government plans to upgrade U-tapao airport to serve the Eastern Economic Corridor scheme.
The government plans to upgrade U-tapao airport to serve the Eastern Economic Corridor scheme.

The Charoen Pokphand Group (CP)-led consortium is holding its breath for the Supreme Administrative Court's ruling in a dispute with the navy committee over the 290-billion-baht Eastern Airport City Project development.

The dispute involves the decision by the bid selection committee set up by the Royal Thai Navy, which oversees the project, to disqualify the consortium from bidding for the scheme on the grounds the group submitted its technical, financial and business plans documents after 3pm on March 21, which was after the deadline to receive the bidding documents.

The Supreme Administrative Court is expected to issue a ruling soon after it heard verbal statements from the CP-led consortium and the navy committee on Thursday.

In Thursday's hearing, Paralee Techajongjintana, who represents the consortium, told the court there were large amounts of documents which were gradually brought to the bid submission venue.

She said the group submitted all the bid documents including technical, financial and business plans and paid the fees without the officials raising any objection. She noted the consortium understood that its bid was properly submitted and accepted. Ms Paralee also said if the consortium's offer was considered by the committee, it would be in the public's best interest and serve the objective of competitive bidding.

In defending the naval committee's decision, Rear Adm Krekchai Wajanaporn insisted the consortium failed to submit the bid documents by the deadline and was disqualified as a result. He pointed out the consortium, which has ties with the group taking part in the high-speed train project linking three airports, is supposed to be aware of the bid submission procedures and deadline.

Rear Adm Krekchai, who is also the bid committee's secretary, said if the consortium's late bid was made acceptable, it would set a bad precedent in which potential bidders would no longer take the submission deadline seriously. After hearing from both parties, the court asked judge Chiewcharn Sukchuay to give his opinions, which is part of the Administrative Court's procedures. However, his judgement will not reflect the court's eventual ruling which may differ.

Mr Chiewcharn said the naval committee failed to clearly inform the bidders of the submission and examination procedures despite large amounts of documents being handled and its officials also accepted the bid documents from the CP-led consortium without any conditions.

According to Mr Chiewcharn, the late bid submission could not result in an unfair competition for the two other bidders because the offers were not disclosed and the committee's decision to disqualify the CP-led consortium should be revoked.

The CP-led consortium comprises Thana Holding Co, the company under CP Group, Italian-Thai Development Plc, Ch. Karnchang Plc, B.Grimm Joint Ventures Holding Co, and Orient Success International Co.

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