Panel starts scrutiny of CP's airport plans

Panel starts scrutiny of CP's airport plans

Kanit Sangsubhan, the EEC Office's secretary-general
Kanit Sangsubhan, the EEC Office's secretary-general

An assessment of a technical plan submitted by a CP-led consortium vying for the Eastern Airport City Project contract will begin on Thursday, according to the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Office.

The committee overseeing the project at U-Tapao airport will rate the plan which must receive a score of 80% or above to pass the assessment, said Kanit Sangsubhan, the EEC Office's secretary-general. He said the assessment is expected to be wrapped up before the end of the month.

The committee was ordered by the Supreme Administrative Court to look at the CP-led consortium's technical and financial proposals for the project.

However, the technical plan must pass the assessment before the committee can move on to consider the consortium's financial plans.

The committee earlier disqualified the consortium from making a bid after it presented its business plan and technical and financial documents too late. The submission deadline was 3pm on March 21.

The consortium petitioned the court for an injunction, which it granted last week along with the order for the committee to look at the plans submitted by the consortium.

Consideration of the plans will proceed as the court is expected to rule on whether or not the consortium's bid should stand despite the late submission, on Nov 4 or Nov 7, according to the EEC Office.

Mr Kanit said on Wednesday that after the winner of the project bidding is known, the EEC board chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will forward the result for cabinet approval, paving the way for the winner to sign the contract with the Royal Thai Navy.

The 290-billion-baht project is part of the development of U-Tapao international airport operated by the navy.

Mr Kanit said the contract signing is likely to take place in January.

"If the court ultimately rules in favour of the CP-led consortium, there will be three bidders in all competing for the project," he said.

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

The other two bidders, whose technical plans were given the all-clear, are the BBS consortium and the Grand Consortium.

The U-Tapao project requires a third passenger terminal, air cargo and business centres, and related buildings to be constructed within five years. The expansion is needed to handle more passengers at the airport. It is estimated up 60 million will be using the airport annually in the next 15 years.

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