Talks in response to Asia Era One’s refusal to acknowledge a Notice to Proceed [NTP] by the SRT
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has agreed to extend a time frame to which it had previously agreed with two other parties as attempts to negotiate and finish amending the agreement for their joint investment in the high-speed train project linking three airports drag on.
The three parties in discussion over the project linking Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-Tapao airports are the SRT, the Eastern Economic Corridor Office of Thailand (EECO) and the project’s concessionaire, Asia Era One, said SRT governor Nirut Maneephan.
“The SRT’s decision to extend the time frame, previously agreed in a memorandum of understanding [MoU] signed by the three sides, was made in response to Asia Era One’s refusal to acknowledge a Notice to Proceed [NTP] by the SRT,” said Mr Nirut.
“The company argued that the SRT’s handing over of 150 rai of land in the Makkasan area of Bangkok wasn’t carried out according to earlier agreements due to issues with Bueng Suea Dam swamp and a number of canals, which are all part of the plot.”
The time frame stipulated in the MoU will therefore have to be pushed back by three months from April 24 to July 24, during which time the SRT will regularly report any progress in amending the joint investment agreement to both EECO and the cabinet, he said.
Previously, the SRT had to formally consult both the Office of the Attorney-General and the Council of State, the government’s legal arm, to find out whether Asia Era One could actually cite problems with swamp and the canals as a reason to reject the NTP.
And as legal opinion from these two parties had yet to be forthcoming, the SRT had no choice but to extend the time frame, he said, adding that the extension, however, won’t disrupt the Airport Rail Link’s operations.