Election date won't affect state projects
The government's flagship development initiatives, notably the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), are unlikely to be affected by the general election date, now set at March 24.
Kanit Sangsubhan, secretary-general of the EEC Office, said the five main infrastructure projects in the EEC will move forward as planned, with the winning bidders expected to become available before April.
The EEC Policy Committee chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha acknowledged Wednesday the progress of five projects, which were all endorsed by the cabinet. They are a high-speed railway linking three airports (225 billion); U-tapao aviation city (290 billion); a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) centre (10.6 billion); the third phase of Laem Chabang seaport (114 billion); and the third phase of Map Ta Phut seaport (55.4 billion).
Mr Kanit said the government expects to come to an agreement with private bidders for the high-speed rail line linking the three airports by the end of this month.
Companies will be allowed to submit their proposals for U-tapao aviation city development by Feb 28, with the winning bidder expected by mid-April, he said.
The winner for the third phase of Map Ta Phut seaport is likely by March, while that for the MRO centre is expected within February, Mr Kanit said.
He said terms of reference for the third phase of Laem Chabang port are being improved, with the new ToR for the port scheduled to launch today. The private sector will be allowed to submit their interest on Feb 6, and the announcement of the winning bidders is scheduled for April.
The EEC of Digital (EECD), which is envisioned as a public-private partnership, is also scheduled to announce ToR today. Interested parties are required to buy bid details between Jan 25 and Feb 15 and submit their bids by April 24.
The EECD has a total investment cost of 4.32 billion baht, covering 569 rai of land.
Also Wednesday, Monton Sudprasert, director-general of the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning, said the committee approved a draft of town planning for the EEC.
The draft is expected to go before the cabinet for approval by April.