3-airport rail link deal likely to be signed in mid-May
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and a consortium led by the Charoen Pokphand Group are likely to sign an agreement on the three-airport rail development in mid-May, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said.
The deputy premier in charge of economic affairs said the agreement had been finalised and a draft contract sent to the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) for examination.
"It will be forwarded to the Eastern Economic Corridor [EEC] policy committee on May 13, and later tabled for the cabinet meeting," Mr Somkid said, adding the contract was expected to be signed next month.
The CP Group-led consortium comprises China Railway Construction Corporation, Bangkok Expressway and Metro, Italian-Thai Development, Ch. Karnchang, Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corp for Transport & Urban Development, Citic Group, Siemens, Hyundai, and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).
It won the bid to develop the 220-billion-baht high-speed railway linking Don Mueang airport in Bangkok with Suvarnabhumi in Samut Prakan and U-Tapao in Rayong.
Kanis Saengsupan, secretary-general of the EEC office (EECO), said the project highlights the first cooperation between China and Japan in terms of investing in a third country.
JBIC will offer a loan to buy Hitachi locomotives while China Development Bank will lend money to help build the rail link, he said.
"This demonstrates to the world how Asian countries can cooperate," said Mr Kanis. He said the EECO signed an MoU with the Henan provincial government in China on Sunday to develop a joint aviation hub and work together on trade and investment.
Meanwhile, the SRT board has agreed to set up a panel to deal with a court order instructing it to pay billions of baht in damages over a failed rail project from decades ago.