Future of Laem Chabang seaport’s third-phase development scheme uncertain
Contract issues stall bids
18 May 2019
There is a possibility that the contract for Laem Chabang seaport’s third-phase development scheme will not be signed under the current administration, according to the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT).
The 84-billion-baht scheme is one of the five megaprojects under the government’s much-touted Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
“I cannot confirm whether the contract will be signed by next month or under this administration,” said PAT director-general Kamolsak Promprayoon, who chairs a panel selecting the project’s developer.
The GPC and NPC consortiums had submitted bid envelopes to pursue the scheme.
GPC consists of PTT Tank Terminal Co, Gulf Energy Development Plc and China Harbour Engineering Co while NPC encompasses Associate Infinity Co, Prima Marine Plc, Nathalin Co, PHS Organic Healing Co and China Railway Construction Corporation Co.
However, NPC was later disqualified by a selection committee, which indicated that the necessary signatures from all parties concerned, which are required under the scheme’s conditions, were not present on the documentation provided to the panel. The disqualification was based on the consortium’s second bid envelope.
“This is a key element which confirms that members of the consortium would jointly share responsibility for the contract,” said Mr Kamolsak.
NPC has petitioned the Central Administrative Court to revoke the panel’s order.
According to the PAT director-general, the selection panel is waiting for EEC policymakers to decide whether the NPC bid will be discounted.
If the policymakers disagree with the panel, NPC will be given a chance to continue in the bidding process.
Mr Kamolsak said the panel had unsealed GPC’s fourth bid envelope, which concerns a bid price.
“Talks with GPC have not yet started and I am not sure how long the negotiations will take,” said Mr Kamolsak. “The PAT can confirm the negotiations will run through the normal process without efforts to hastily conclude the deal since the national interest must be given priority”.
Referring to rumours that NPC offered better returns to the PAT than its rival consortium, Mr Kamolsak said as the NPC was disqualified, it is forbidden for the committee to unseal its fourth envelope, which also concerns proposed returns.