Daewoo eager to build mass-transit lines

A woman checks her mobile phone while waiting for the train arrival at an underground station in Bangkok.

A woman checks her mobile phone while waiting for the train arrival at an underground station in Bangkok.

South Korean conglomerate Daewoo is keen to bid for the construction of the Yellow and Pink mass-transit lines under the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, who yesterday met high-ranking executives from Daewoo, Samsung Electronics, Hana Financial Group, Lotte Duty Free, Posco and Yellow Mobile, said Daewoo would join the bid for the 34.5-kilometre Pink Line (Khae Rai-Min Buri), costing 56.7 billion baht, and the 30km Yellow Line (Lat Phrao-Samrong), worth 54.6 billion baht.

Daewoo has already held talks with potential partners in Thailand.

The two mass-transit lines will be the first PPP fast-track investment projects that will cut the approval process for joint investment to nine months from two years under the normal process. To attract private sector investment, the government will invest no more than 20 billion baht in each project.

State investment will cover land expropriation costs and many of the civil works for the two electrically powered monorail lines. The private sector will be allowed to invest in the remaining civil engineering projects, trains, operating systems and maintenance services under a 30-year concession.

The two projects are expected to go before the cabinet next week. A screening committee is slated to be set up in May to prepare the terms of reference and open bids for construction in June. The trains are projected to be up and running in 2020.

Last November the government put five projects worth a combined 334 billion baht on the front burner under the PPP scheme, giving them a mandate to get off the ground in the second half of this year. They comprise three mass-transit routes in Bangkok, worth a combined 194 billion baht, and two interprovincial motorways worth 140 billion baht.

The two motorways will link Ayutthaya’s Bang Pa-in district with Nakhon Ratchasima, and Nonthaburi’s Bang Yai district with Kanchanaburi.

Mr Somkid said Daewoo had expertise in mass-transit railway construction, boasting proprietary technology to construct tunnels in mountainous areas.

Source: http://m.bangkokpost.com/news/908624