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Suvarnabhumi » Suvarnabhumi airport railway link builder asked for deadline delay

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

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The consortium contracted to build the 30 billion baht Suvarnabhumi airport railway link has written to the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) asking for a deadline extension of 652 days. However, a construction supervision consultant for the project has suggested that the extension of the construction deadline should not exceed 398 days, according to the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) source.

The B. Grimm consortium says it needs the extra time to complete the project. The consortium includes Sino-Thai Engineering & Construction and Siemens. The source said the consortium has written to the SRT asking for an extension of 652 days, based on the delay in the handover of land.

The contractor stated that the expropriation of the land in the Decha community in Phaya Thai district started on May 19, 2005, later than the 90-day timeframe agreed to in the contract. The handover was completed on March 2 this year. Therefore, it needed much more time to finish the construction.

However, the construction consultant argued that the delay in the handover of land did not affect the construction of the other sections of the Suvarnabhumi airport link.

In addition, the contractor should be able to speed up their construction to ensure the link is open for full operation as soon as possible.

Transport Minister Theera Haocharoen admitted that more time will be needed to complete the project.

It is up to the SRT to decide how long it will take to finish the construction, Adm Theera said, adding that a study showed the construction period should be extended by one year.

”The SRT has not finalised its report on the extended period (for the construction).

”However, I think the project should be finished as quickly as possible, since the airport link is essential for commuting people to and from Suvarnabhumi airport,” Adm Theera said.

Chairman of the SRT board Siwa Saengmanee said the matter is very urgent, though the board will consider it carefully. He believed the should be completed by November next year (2008), before its scheduled opening the following month, on Dec 5, His Majesty the King’s birthday.

SRT deputy governor Nakorn Chanthasorn said the construction consultant’s finding will be sent to the SRT’s sub-committee on public transport and it will then be submitted to the SRT board for a decision.

Mr Nakorn said the matter may also require deliberation by the cabinet as it involves the SRT’s financial responsibilities for the project.

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has to pay the creditor bank of the contractor 18 billion baht of the total construction price of 30 billion baht.

The airport link will stretch 28.6km from the Makkasan area in the inner city to Suvarnabhumi airport, east of Bangkok. It was designed to allow passengers to get between the city and the airport in 15 minutes and to connect with electric railways in the capital

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