Bangkok’s Rama III Expressway bids to be scrutinised

Construction News

Bangkok’s Rama III Expressway bids to be scrutinised

Exat panel to probe Rama III contractors

29 June 2019

The Expressway Authority of Thailand (Exat) is to set up a panel to look into complaints involving the bidding process for an expressway linking Rama III Road, Dao Khanong and the western outer ring road.

Exat board chairman Surong Bulakul said the board has acknowledged the bidding results but agreed to have legal experts review the eligibility of the bid winners over the next two weeks.

According to Mr Surong, one of the legal issues to be examined by the panel is whether Exat can sue a foreign contractor which is a state enterprise.

The bid winners will be officially announced if the panel has no concerns, he said, adding that the probe is in response to complaints submitted by three of four private firms.

The 18.7km project value is estimated at 29.15 billion baht. Four contracts were recently put up for bidding.

The first contract covers 6.4 kilometres of the route. It is reported that CNA consortium, which consists of China State Construction Engineering Corp, Nawarat Patanakarn Plc and AS Associated Engineering Co, offered the lowest bid of 5.8 billion baht on the reserve price of 6.9 billion baht.

A second contract for a 5.3km stretch, with a reserve price of 7.2 billion baht, was reportedly won by a 6.4 billion baht bid from the CPT consortium which is made up of China Harbour Engineering Co, Thipakorn Co, Buriram Thongchai Construction Co and Unique Engineering and Construction Plc.

The third contract, which covers a distance of 5km, reportedly saw another consortium with a Chinese partner offer the lowest bid of 6 billion baht on the reserve price of 6.9 billion baht. The consortium consists of China Railway Number 10 Engineering Group Co, the Civil Engineering Co and Boonchai Panich (1979) Co.

CH Karnchang Plc (CK) was said to have offered the lowest bid of 6.6 billion baht to construct a 2km section of the expressway under the fourth contract, which had a reserve price of 7.9 billion baht.

Speaking about the board’s controversial decision to grant Bangkok Expressway and Metro Plc (BEM) the right to operate three expressways for 30 more years to clear all lawsuits the agency faces with BEM, he said the issue is for the Transport Ministry and the cabinet to decide.

Damages related to all lawsuits between Exat and BEM over alleged contract breaches are estimated to be worth 130 billion baht in total, with Exat keen to strike a deal to clear the debt.