Thailand signs two dual-track railway deals worth $933.2 million

Construction News

Thailand signed two railway deals worth $933.2 million (33.66 billion baht) on Thursday, the transport minister said, in the latest bid by the military government to increase infrastructure investment to boost Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.

The deals are among some 20 infrastructure projects worth nearly 1.8 trillion baht ($50.2 billion) and covering rail, roads, air transport and ports due to get underway before 2018.

“The signing of these two projects today signals the start of a new decade of prosperity and success for the country’s railway business,” Minister of Transport Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said at a signing ceremony.

The State Railway of Thailand held an electronic auction for construction of the dual-track railways.

A consortium led by Thai construction firm CH Karnchang Pcl offered the lowest bid of 23.43 billion baht to build a 187-km lie linking the northeastern cities of Nakorn Ratchasima and Khon Kaen.

The reference price was at 23.6 billion baht.

Sino Thai Engineering and Construction Pcl and Right Tunnelling Co. Ltd. won the contract to build another rail line from Chachoengsao province to Saraburi province, in the centre of the country, worth 10.22 billion baht.

Arkhom urged the State Railway of Thailand to speed up auctions for another four planned dual-track projects, which are among the 20 planned infrastructure projects.

The military government has struggled to get the economy moving since it took power in a May 2014 coup.

The state planning agency forecasts economic growth of 2.9 percent this year and 3.0-4.0 percent next year, driven by investment. The economy grew just 0.9 percent in 2014, the weakest rate in three years. ($1 = 36.0700 baht)