Deadline for construction of Thailand’s new parliament complex looms

Construction News
The new parliament complex is still under construction in Kiakkai area of Bangkok, two years after it was due for completion. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Deadline for construction of Thailand’s new parliament complex looms

Sino-Thai Engineering & Construction (Stecon), the contractor, has requested another 133-day deadline extension

The secretariat of the House of Representatives will hold talks with legal experts to find solutions to the unfinished construction of the new parliament complex as the new deadline for its completion approaches.

Pornpit Petcharoen, secretary of the House of Representatives, said the deadline is Dec 31 and the House secretariat will discuss the matter with its legal advisers on how to proceed.

Ms Pornpit did however note that construction of the interior of the new parliament complex has made much progress.

Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction Plc (Stecon), the contractor, has requested another 133-day deadline extension, and the secretariat will consider whether to grant it or not. The 12-billion-baht construction contract was signed on April 30, 2013 and was to be completed within 900 days or by Nov 24, 2015.

However, the deadline has already been extended four times, with the latest one falling on Dec 31, even though the completion of the new parliament building is still a work in progress.

The contractor partly attributes the unfinished project to delays by the state in handing over the land in the Kiakkai area, on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River.

On Monday, former Democrat Party MP Watchara Phetthong said that he had submitted a letter to Parliament President Chuan Leekpai opposing the granting of a fifth deadline extension to Stecon.

Mr Watchara said he also wrote to the National Anti-Corruption Commission urging the agency to look into whether there were any alleged irregularities in the four previous extensions.

Last Friday, Mr Chuan refused to comment on the progress of the construction of the parliament complex, saying only that the House secretariat would hold talks with Stecon to find a solution.

Stecon has requested the extension, from January to May, citing “work outside the main contract” as a reason for the slow progress. Work outside the main contract includes installation of information technology, communication cables and audio visual equipment.