The bidding process to find a contractor to build and operate the 140-billion-baht Orange Line western extension linking the Thailand Cultural Centre with Bang Khun Non kicked off on Friday with four major players showing interest in the scheme.
Bangkok Expressway and Metro Plc (BEM), Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC), BTS Group Holdings Plc (BTSG) and Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction Plc (STEC) bought bid envelops on the first day.
However, industry observers said that only two contractors are expected to submit bids for the project — BEM, which operates the MRT, and BTSC which operates the BTS Skytrain. Submission of bids is scheduled for Sept 23.
The 13.4-kilometre section, which is part of the 22.57km Orange Line project, will be invested under the supervision of the Public-Private Partnership Board.
Of total costs, 14.6 billion baht is set for land appropriation, 96 billion baht for civil work, and 32 billion baht for other expense.
The bid winner will be granted a 30-year concession to operate the line under a 30-year contract.
The western section will have 11 underground stations and is expected to open in 2026 while the eastern section, which links the Thailand Cultural Centre with Min Buri, is under construction and is scheduled to open in 2024.
Meanwhile, deputy Bangkok governor Sakchai Boonma said yesterday construction of a long-delayed underpass at the Charan Sanitwong-Phran Nok intersection is expected to be completed and open to traffic in December next year.