Thailand’s largest conglomerate will lead a joint venture in building a high-speed rail line between three major airports for THB224.5 billion (US$7.1 billion) under a plan approved Tuesday by the interim cabinet.
Looking to seal the deal before any new government takes power, the cabinet awarded the project to a consortium led by multinational Charoen Pokphand in a deal that will be subsidized with billions in taxpayer baht to connect the Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-Tapao airports by rail.
Fares and other income will go to the private sector side of the “partnership” for 50 years under the terms.
Government spokesman Natthaphon Jatusripitak announced the decision following this afternoon’s cabinet meeting, saying the contract would be signed next month between the state railway and CP. An environmental impact review has yet to be completed.
It will use the state railway’s existing Airport Rail Link line and use standard-gauge rail.
The project is part of the military government’s major economic projects in Thailand’s east. It also includes another deep-sea port on the coast of Rayong province, which will be about a 30-minute drive from the U-Tapao airport near Pattaya in Chonburi province.
Design and construction is expected to take five years.