Bestlin asks for injunction against fresh bidding push

Bestlin asks for injunction against fresh bidding push

Bestlin Group has petitioned the Administrative Court to grant an injunction against a new bid for 489 new natural gas vehicle (NGV) buses after the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) scrapped its contract to supply the vehicles last month.

The BMTA revoked the 3.3-billion-baht contract on April 12, claiming Bestlin had failed to deliver all the buses according to the schedule stipulated under the deal.

Somsak Hommuang, deputy permanent secretary for transport and acting BMTA director, said yesterday Bestlin had sought the court's injunction against a new bid for the buses.

Bestlin also asked the court to grant an injunction against the BMTA's move to seize 330 million baht in collateral placed under the contract with Bestlin following the delayed delivery of the buses -- the company said this would hurt its financial status, Mr Somsak said.

Mr Somsak said Bestlin claimed it has invested between three and four billion baht in the project and received no money in return.

He said a bank which acts as a guarantor for Bestlin is set to hand 330 million baht in collateral to the BMTA. Bestlin complained the move would mean the bank would start calculating interest on its loan, which would challenge the company's liquidity.

Mr Somsak said he told the court during the hearing on the injunction request on Thursday that the new bidding for 489 NGV buses would have no impact on Bestlin.

The BMTA has no problem receiving Bestlin's buses if it is forced by the court to do so seeing as the cabinet has given the BMTA the green light to purchase as many as 3,183 buses, he said.

Mr Somsak said he told the court that it was necessary for the BMTA to confiscate the collateral in order to be fair to both parties.

"If I grant a reprieve in this case, since the BMTA is not doing business with only this firm, it would be seen as double standards," Mr Somsak said.

He said the negligence would also prompt the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Office of the Auditor-General to investigate him, adding he has to comply with the contract.

According to Mr Somsak, Bestlin still owes a 300-400 million baht fine to the BMTA for failing to deliver the buses on time.

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