Thailand Infrastructure: construction firms keen on getting slice of mega-projects

Construction News

CONSTRUCTION FIRMS have expressed strong interest in bidding for infrastructure projects worth up to Bt1.4 trillion in the final quarter of the year.

“When the government opens bidding for 18 or 19 infrastructure projects worth up to Bt1.4 trillion, all constructor firms will take part, which will double construction business growth compared to the second half of last year,” said Sangworn Liptapanlop, president of the Thai Construction Association under Royal Patronage.

When the government opens bidding in the final quarter, it will initially be releasing a budget of around 10 per cent of the total project value for investment, he said, adding that this would be a major shot in the arm for construction industry growth in the second half, especially in the final three months of the year.

The Economic Steering Committee meeting last week estimated that investment worth Bt66 billion out of the total budget of Bt1.4 trillion would be injected into the economy when 18 or 19 infrastructure projects are opened for bidding between October and December.

Sangworn said the construction industry normally had a market value of between Bt300 billion and Bt400 billion a year from the both public and private sector, but if the infrastructure projects kicked off as expected later this year, the sector would see its growth double in the second half – while the construction industry would likely experience annual growth of more than 20 per cent from 2017 to 2020.

Phongsarit Tantiwuvanitchkul, executive director of Bangkok Expressway and Metro (BEM), said the listed company would pitch for all the main mass rapid-transit lines.

However, the final decision depends on the terms and conditions of the projects and their commercial viability.

Phongsarit, who also serves as executive vice president for operations for listed construction firm Ch Karnchang, said that since BEM already operated the heavy rail system, it would have no difficulty in operating the two planned monorail lines, which it viewed as feeder lines.

The company is also keen to bid for the Orange Line’s east section for the Thailand Cultural Centre-Min Buri (Suwinthawong) route.

Bid documents for the contract were being made available on July 15, he said recently.

BTS Group Holdings chairman Keeree Kanjanapas said earlier that the company was definitely interested in pitching for all mass-transit rail systems when the government opens bidding for these contracts.

“We have the experience of developing the BTS Skytrain, so we have strong confidence about participating in the development of the new mass-transit routes,” he said.

Ch Karnchang chairman Plew Trivisvavet also said earlier that the company had a strong interest in joining the bidding for all of the government’s infrastructure projects worth up to Bt1.4 trillion, with a target of winning between 20 per cent and 25 per cent of the overall value of the mega-projects.

“When the government opens bidding, we will take part. This will boost the construction industry to achieve sustainable growth till the year 2020, because most of the infrastructure projects will involve investment spending from when the winners are announced in the last quarter of this year through 2020,” he added.