Private funds sought for Grey Line

Private funds sought for Grey Line

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is planning to launch a bidding process to secure private investment in the Grey Line monorail project within the next two years, with an investment budget of 27 billion baht.

In a meeting weighing up the pros and cons of public-private partnership (PPP) models to determine what types would be appropriate for the project, Chatree Wattanakhajorn, deputy permanent secretary for the BMA, said the study will first be vetted by Bangkok governor-elect Chadchart Sittipunt.

"Study details on engineering, investment and the environment of the Grey Line project linking the Vacharapol area in northern Bangkok with Thong Lor in the Sukhumvit business area will also be concluded so they can be sent to Mr Chadchart, before they are submitted to the cabinet for further approval by next year," Mr Chatree said.

For the Grey Line project, the BMA proposes three investment models: PPP net cost, PPP gross cost and PPP modified gross cost.

An initial study suggested the project may hew to the PPP net cost model, in which the investors would be awarded better terms for taking the risk of revenue sharing with the government for 30 years.

The study also estimated the project would cost 27.8 billion baht. Expenses include land expropriation, construction costs, rail system installation, train procurement, as well as advisory and design services.

The bidding is slated to begin about 2024-2025.

Construction and testing of the system will take at least four years to finish with the service tipped to be fully functional by 2030.

The Grey Line will have 15 stations, with connections to the Pink, Brown, Yellow, and Orange Lines and the Thong Lor BTS station.

Passenger numbers in the first year are expected to hit 97,000 a day, with the capacity to accommodate 8,000-20,000 commuters an hour during peak periods.

It is hoped the line will generate 2.66 million baht in daily revenue with fares likely to range from 16 to 42 baht.

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