11 July 2024

Thailand’s Ministry of Transport may postpone the second round of bidding for the Orange Line train project, scheduled for July 27th, pending consultation with the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG).

On July 7th, the Central Administrative Court ruled that the scrapping of the first round of bidding, by the selection committee of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA), was unlawful.

One of the bidders, Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company Limited (BTSC), took the case to the court, claiming that the selection committee changed the terms of reference after the sale of bidenvelopes.

According to the Ministry of Transport, a discussion has been held with the OAG regarding the Central Administrative Court’s ruling, to clear up all the legal issues before proceeding with the second bid for the mega project.

One of the options is to start the process all over again by cancelling the bid on July 27th, calling a fresh bid and invitingall interested parties to join the bidding process, to ensure fairness to all.

The Orange Line train project is 35.9km long, running from Bang Khun Non to Min Buri. It is divided into two sections,from the Thailand Cultural Centre to Min Buri, about 22.5km, known as the eastern section, and from the Thailand Cultural Centre to Bang Khun Non, about 13.4km, known as the western section. About 27km is underground and the rest is elevated.

The western section is currently the subject of the dispute between the BTSC and the MRTA. The construction cost is estimated at about 120 billion baht.