Thailand, China Plan Rail Project

Construction News

Thailand expects to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese government in April to co-develop a 150 billion Thai baht ($4.89 billion) high-speed rail project, Permanent Secretary for Transport Suphoth Sublom said late Wednesday.

Under the drafted memorandum, the 620-kilometer high-speed railway project linking Nong Kai in the northeast and the capital Bangkok will be run by a joint venture to be set up by the Thai and Chinese governments, Mr. Suphoth told reporters.

The Thai government will own a majority of the planned joint venture, which will have an initial registered capital of around 1 billion baht to 2 billion baht.

Around 70% of the project is expected to be funded by debt, which could come from Chinese financiers, he said.

Construction is expected to kick off next year and the rail project should start commercial operations in 2016, Mr. Suphoth said.

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