CP consortium not ready for talks on three-airport railway

CP consortium not ready for talks on three-airport railway

Charoen Pokphand chief executive Suphachai Chearavanont leads his team to submit the consortium's tender for construction of a high-speed train project connecting Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-Tapao airports, in Bangkok last November. (File photo)
Charoen Pokphand chief executive Suphachai Chearavanont leads his team to submit the consortium's tender for construction of a high-speed train project connecting Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-Tapao airports, in Bangkok last November. (File photo)

Charoen Pokphand Group on Tuesday postponed three-airport railway contract talks scheduled with the State Railway of Thailand to March 13 pending further negotiations with its venture partners.

SRT deputy governor Worawut Mala said CP, which submitted the lowest quote, advised the SRT in writing that the consortium was not ready for the talks and it had yet to discuss issues with its partners.

The SRT is in the process of contractual negotiations with CP for the construction of a high-speed railway that would link Don Mueang airport in Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan province and U-Tapao airport in the eastern province of Rayong.

The SRT's contractor selection committee earlier informed CP that it could not accept 12 proposals from the consortium because they were different from the preset conditions for the project. They included the contractor's acceptance of compensation from the first year of project implementation and an extension of the contractual period from 50 years to 99 years.

If CP stopped the talks, the SRT's selection committee would call in BSR Joint Venture, the second-lowest bidder, for negotiations, Mr Worawut said.

The CP-led consortium comprises CP, Bangkok Expressway and Metro Plc, China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd, Ch Karnchang Plc, and Italian-Thai Development Plc.

BSR Joint Venture is made up of Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTS), Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction Plc, and Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Plc.

The cabinet earlier approved the valuation of the project at 119.4 billion baht. The CP-led consortium quoted 117.2 billion baht and BSR 169.9 billion baht.

It's the latest glitch to emerge in the government's plans to build modern, high-speed railway networks.

Thai and Chinese authorities failed to find common ground on a contract for a 252.5-kilometre-long section from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima.


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