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Suvarnabhumi » Suvarnabhumi airport railway construction deadline to be decided this week

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

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The State Railway is expected to decide this week how long the construction deadline of the Suvarnabhumi airport railway project should be extended.
State Railway of Thailand deputy governor Nakhon Chantarasorn said the committee responsible for the project was examining conditions of the deadline extension for the consortium led by Sino-Thai Engineering & Construction Plc (Stecon).

An State Railway of Thailand source said it had been expected the service would start running before December next year. To achieve this, the construction deadline should be extended from Nov 5 this year by 356 days and the contractor must work around the clock.

The State Railway of Thailand wanted the contractor to bear any additional cost and would retain the right to terminate the contract if it was breached during the extension.

The State Railway of Thailand expected to make a decision this week, the source said.

One condition under consideration is a May cabinet resolution that ordered state agencies to extend by 180 days the completion dates of construction projects affected by floods.

Mr Nakhon said the Airport Rail Link was eligible for the 180-day extension because its route goes through Lat Krabang district, which was flooded.

The committee would decide if the 180-day extension should be added to or included in the contract extension.

If it was added, the State Railway of Thailand would face a higher interest burden on loans for the project, Mr Nakhon said.

The source said the 180-day flood grace period could be included in the 356-day extension because floods had occurred during the period the State Railway of Thailand had been unable, for other reasons, to hand over the land to the contractor.

The State Railway of Thailand and the Stecon consortium signed the Airport Rail Link contract on Jan 20, 2005. It required the railway to be completed in 990 days, which falls on Nov 5. But the State Railway of Thailand delayed delivery of the land to the contractor, leading to the deadline extension which is under negotiation.

The new railway, estimated to cost 26 Billion Baht, will offer public transport service between the inner city and Suvarnabhumi airport. An express trip will take 15 minutes and a regular commuter trip 30 minutes. (Bkk Post)

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