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Cost estimate for purple Line rises more than 16 per cent

The Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA) has raised the cost estimate for the suburban Purple Line train project 16.13 per cent, from Bt31 billion to Bt36 billion, to reflect higher oil and steel prices.

Published on April 19, 2008

Watcharapong Thongrung

The Nation

"The MRTA has already proposed a construction plan for the Purple Line for Transport Ministry consideration," MRTA governor Praphat Chongsan-guan said yesterday.

Bidding documents for the 23-kilometre Bang Sue-Bang Yai route will be available for purchase from next Monday Friday. Tenders can be submitted within three months after that.

Bidders are required to show experience in building elevated structures worth Bt10 billion or more in the past three years.

Construction companies are not limited to groups, individuals or local companies, because bidding will follow international practices, as stipulated under financing from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

"Large Thai contractors are qualified to participate in the bidding following this method. But small and medium-sized contractors may have less of an advantage than large ones," Praphat said.

Chinese contractors should have a competitive edge, because they enjoy lower costs for materials and labour, he added.

The Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning Office is preparing to hand over to the MRTA a feasibility study for the Green Line connecting Morchit to Saphan Mai. Bidding is expected to open in August.

Director-general Maitree Srinarawat said at the project's second public hearing that the Bt30.77-billion Green Line, with a length of 11.4 kilometres, received a good response from the public.

The office is now speeding up the forwarding of the project assessment to the MRTA.

The Green Line is expected to carry 140,000 passengers per trip per day, which will help the country save Bt496.27 billion on the cost of travelling by other modes.

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