RailThai conglomerate CP and 12 other companies to build the US$6.8 billion project.

Builders selected to realise Thailand’s high-speed rail ambitions

By
|
Thailand high-speed rail 190515
Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group (CP) and 12 other companies have been selected to build Thailand’s US$6.8 billion high-speed rail project. Photo Credit: Chalabala/Getty Images
Thailand high-speed rail 190515

The ambitious project, which will connect Thailand’s main international airport Suvarnabhumi to low-cost carrier airport Don Muang and U-Tapao airport in eastern Thailand, is expected to be completed in five years.

Thailand’s government has chosen Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group (CP) and 12 other companies to build a US$6.8 billion high-speed rail train project linking its three major airports.

The decision follows months of negotiations after CP and 12 other companies jointly submitted a bid for the project, Reuters reported.

The committee, chaired by Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, chose a joint investor for the public-private partnership that required the lowest amount of investment from the government, the Eastern Economic Corridor Policy (EEC) office said in a statement.

The ambitious project, which will connect Thailand’s main international airport Suvarnabhumi to low-cost carrier airport Don Muang and U-Tapao airport in eastern Thailand, is expected to be completed in five years.

The proposal will be sent for cabinet approval on May 28, EEC secretary-general Kanit Sangsubhan told reporters.

CP is headed by Thailand’s richest man, Dhanin Chearavanont, who has a net worth of US$16.5 billion, according to Forbes’ latest estimates.

CP, not known for its expertise in rail engineering, had previously said its consortium and strategic partners include China’s CITIC Group Corp, China Railway Construction, South Korea’s Hyundai, Germany’s Siemens, Italian-Thai Development Pcl and Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

The rail project is part of the US$45 billion Eastern Economic Corridor Policy (EEC), which aims to develop Thailand’s eastern provinces into a leading ASEAN economic zone.

In early April, Thailand’s cabinet approved an initial investment of up to 111.9 billion baht in the project. This includes an initial sum of 3.67 billion baht to finance land appropriation.


JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI