Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) asked to probe Laem Chabang project

Construction News

Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) asked to probe Laem Chabang project

By The Nation

The Port Authority of Thailand on Tuesday (April 21) filed a complaint with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), asking it to inspect the commission tasked with selecting a private company to undertake third-phase construction of Laem Chabang Port in Chonburi.

The complaint, which was forwarded to NACC secretary-general Worawit Sukboon by PAT representative Peeraphon Ngamlert, claims the commission has shown bias towards the only bidder left on the shortlist, GPC.

GPC consists of PTT Tank Terminal Co, Gulf Energy Development and China Harbour Engineering Co.

The complaint said GPC’s lower-than-expected bid of Bt12.05 billion would not benefit the government since it fell Bt20.17 billion short of the Cabinet’s Bt32.22-billion evaluation of the project.

This is GPC’s fourth bid, after a tender process that has been plagued by delays and court action.

The fourth bid is also not in line with GPC’s third bid, which agreed to pay the fixed fee as per the tender document and stipulated a variable fee of Bt200.

The port approved the third offer as containing most benefits for the port, but the fourth offer was just Bt12.05 billion.

Moreover, handing the contract to a sole bidder would have a negative effect on the government, said the complaint.

The Port Authority asked the NACC to investigate whether the selection commission was in breach of its duty.

The plan to expand Laem Chabang Port is one of five infrastructure megaprojects that form the backbone of the government’s flagship Eastern Economic Corridor scheme, which spans the provinces of Chonburi, Rayong and Chachoengsao.

The others are the development of Rayong’s Map Ta Phut Port, a high-speed railway linking three airports, U-Tapao Airport City, and the U-Tapao aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility. The EEC project received another blow on Monday (April 20), when Airbus pulled out of a joint venture to build the U-Tapao MRO facility with Thai Airways.