BTS mull Vietnam trains bid

Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) plans to join the bidding to operate two electric trains in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh city, according to Surapong Laoha-Unya, the company’s chief operating officer.

Vietnam is planning two mass transit routes with a total length of 23km, of which most will be underground.

According to a report in InfoQuest, BTS anticipates that the Vietnamese government will issue its bidding conditions soon. The company will study the terms of reference for the bidding process before submitting any bid.

Regarding the development of skytrain services in Bangkok, the company expects bidding for the operation of the 12-km Green Line between Bearing and Samut Prakan, which is currently being constructed, within the year.

Proposals for the Green Line section between Mor Chit, Saphan Mai and Ku Kot will be put forward for cabinet approval in the near future, after which BTS plans to bid to construct and operate the train service.

Mr Surapong said the company was already prepared to compete in bidding for both sections of the Green Line. For the Bearing-Samut Prakan part of the line, it is estimated that the company would need around 10 billion baht to acquire the trains, electricity and mechanics systems, but the required investment will double to 20 billion baht for Mor Chit-Ku Kot section, due to the longer distance.

The company expects its earnings for the 2013/14 financial year to grow by 10% from the previous year, in line with rising passenger numbers – estimated to grow between 7 and 10% from 196 million. The company also raised fares on June 1, 2013.

Amorn Kitchawengkul, deputy Bangkok governor, said the BTS is still seeing the same number of passengers since the fare adjustment, at around 770,000 trips per day on average.

Source: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/359075/bts-will-bid-to-operate-train-in-ho-chi-minh-city