The State Enterprise Policy Office (SEPO) proposed setting up a new state enterprise to take care of the government’s high-speed train routes instead of letting them be run by the State Railway of Thailand.
Director-general Somchai Sujjapongse said under international standards, when new high-value investment projects will affect the overall economy, a new company is created to manage the projects.
Before any changes can be made, discussions must first take place with the Ministry of Transport, which is in charge of the state railway, and the owners of land where the routes will be constructed.
Any new company will still be a state enterprise in which the government would be a major shareholder. “We are proposing this for a high-value project because the capacity of the state railway is limited and slow,” Dr Somchai said.
The government plans to build five high-speed train routes including the 754-kilometre Bangkok-Chiang Mai route, which will cost 232 billion baht, and the 221-km Bangkok-Rayong route that will cost 74.8 billion. The other three routes are Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani, Bangkok-Nong Khai and Bangkok-Padang Besar.
In the next five years, state enterprises will invest some 2 trillion baht in other sectors including logistics and energy.