Bangkok Terminal sees light in the tunnel

Construction News

The aerial view of the current BTS depot that will be upgraded in the future. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Bangkok Terminal, a concessionaire of the former Mor Chit bus station’s land plot, is ready to amend the contract to move forward with development of a mixed-use project after a 20-year delay.

The company’s move answers the request of the landlord, the Treasury Department, which recently said the contract must be updated in accordance with current market conditions.

Chakkrit Parapuntakul, who heads the department, said earlier that Bangkok Terminal remained eligible to operate the concession contract according to an Administrative Court ruling.

Bangkok Terminal won the development concession for the land plot in 1996, but the company failed to start the project because the concession was later found to have violated the 1992 Public-Private Partnership Act, which requires government projects valued at 1 billion baht or more to comply with the law.

The development has awaited legal clarification since then.

Mr Chakkrit updated the project’s terms to reduce development space from 900,000 square metres to 800,000 to comply with floor area rules under the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority’s new city plan.

The Treasury Department expects a greater benefit from the concession because the old contract was developed two decades ago, when land prices were lower.

“The land is located in a pricey part of Bangkok,” Mr Chakkrit said. “Since the project was valued at 19.6 billion baht 20 years ago, the value must have increased a lot.”

Construction costs will be higher too, he added.

The finance permanent secretary, Rungson Sriworasat, will lead the contract amendment plan. Negotiations between the Finance Ministry and Bangkok Terminal should conclude by year-end.

The 63-rai plot will feature commercial and residential areas, a skytrain depot and the return of the Bangkok Northern Bus Terminal.