Posted: 20/08/2006 12:08 pm Post subject: Railway on track for B1.33-trillion shunt: Bangkok Post
Railways on track for B1.33-trillion shunt
WICHIT CHANTANUSORNSIRI, Bangkok Post
New investments totalling 1.33 trillion baht will be made in rail networks over the next five years to help overhaul logistics and transport networks.
The Finance Ministry hopes the investments will result in a turnaround for the State Railway of Thailand, the country's worst-performing state enterprise.
The restructuring plan calls for the procurement of 200 new train engines, new installations of double-track rail and extensions of rail networks to commercial areas to facilitate the use of railways for commercial shipping and transport.
At the same time, the Finance Ministry will accept 37 billion baht in infrastructure-related debt from the SRT's debt burden of 42.7 billion, a move that will help reduce the enterprise's interest payments. Total SRT debt, including rail network-related liabilities and accumulated losses, totals 67.435 billion baht.
Ministry officials said the SRT urgently needed to revamp its balance sheet or face growing losses in the future. One estimate projects annual net losses, which totalled 6.7 billion baht in 2005, rising to 12 billion per year by 2016.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), which totalled negative 3.265 billion baht in 2005, could rise to negative 5.4 billion in 2016, due to management inefficiencies, low productivity and inflexibility in setting tariff rates due to state policy.
Under the new restructuring plan drafted by the ministry, debt transfers, new investments and an internal reorganisation is expected to result in net losses declining to 2.147 billion baht per year by 2016, with EBITDA turning positive in 2011 at 631 million baht and rising to 2.01 billion by 2016.
The projections exclude possible gains from more efficient utilisation and commercial development of the SRT's extensive property holdings.
But the Transport Ministry has strongly resisted calls by the Finance Ministry to centralise the management of SRT property with the Treasury Department.
''The possible gains are enormous. If you look in other countries, rail operations typically run at a loss, but this is offset from profits from property investments and developments, as mass transit operations help improve the value of nearby developments,'' one Finance Ministry official said.
The ministry is also working on a restructuring plan for the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority, which calls for the transfer of part of the bus operator's debt of 43 billion baht while the state enterprise invests in 2,000 new NGV-powered buses and establishes a 3.5-billion-baht pension fund.
It ain't nto easy to privatization sicne theyu have seen the way governmetn has privatized MCOT (Thi version of RTM2) and PTT (Thai version of Petronas) ... even though both are money-maker enterprises, ONLY political crones reap the biggest benefit of all ....
No wonder, MCOT workers and officers have REVOLT against MCOT board when the governemtn is askign MCOT to sell more share to bail TMB Bank out of trouble ....
German-based Siemens is ready to bid jointly for the extension of five electric-rail routes, says Lothar Herrmann, president and CEO in charge of Thailand, Cambodia and Burma.
"The company is in talks with many local firms to jointly establish a business alliance, but whom we will be participating with has not been concluded yet," he said, adding that it would depend on the bidding conditions from the government.
Herrmann is confident that the extension of the electric-rail projects will go ahead, because Bangkok is a big city in which convenient mass-transit systems are needed. Considered one of the world's leading international suppliers to the railway industry, Siemens is ready to support the projects.
Herrmann said the company had supplied electric-train facilities to other projects in Bangkok, such as the Skytrain and the subway, as well as the Airport Rail Link project expected to open over the next few years.
He said Siemens was also studying the feasibility of constructing an electric-train-carrier assembly plant in Thailand.
"If the company won the bidding for any electric-rail route project, it would still be interested in setting up an electric-train-carrier assembly plant in Thailand. This is aimed at using some of the local raw materials in the country, " said Herrmann.
In addition, he said the company had invested in training 400 staff in repair and maintenance of transport systems. "In the future, Siemens will invest more in technology transfer," he said.
Herrmann said it was possible to have an electric-train-carrier assembly plant in Thailand, depending on support from the government, as well as business allies and favourable returns. "If all factors are favourable, the company will make a decision to invest," he said.
He commented that choosing only one supplier to provide electric-system facilities would help integrate the existing system of mass-transit networks and electric-rail routes and thus promote greater efficiency in terms of management and cost savings. However, it depends on participants' needs and which types of system they would like to see.
"Siemens, though, is ready to compete with other suppliers," said Herrmann. He also answered concerns over a Siemens monopoly, which could lead to higher prices if there were only one supplier.
He explained that Siemens' purchase orders for transport systems worldwide last year had a total value of ค6.2 billion (Bt287 billion), up 35 per cent from 2005. "This figure shows that the company's products are not higher than the others," said Herrmann. He said the company was also ready to disclose any information about the techniques of electric-train systems at a seminar on the subject to be held next Thursday.
For the progress of the Airport Rail Link project, Herrmann said Siemens was responsible for various systems, including rolling stock, signalling, railway electrification via overhead lines, depot workshop equipment and platform screen doors.
Herrmann said two out of the total nine train carriers had been completed. He expected all carriers would be completed and ready for delivery by year-end, as stated in the contract.
Phase 1 construction
1. Kaeng Khoi - Klong 19 - Chachoengsao (106 km) original cost at 11348.4 Million Baht - the actual bidding is 10232.86 Million Baht
Contract 1 by STECON at 9825.81 Million Baht to deal with almost all sections (97 km) and three chord lines to bypass Ban Phachi Junction, Kaeng Khoi Junction, and Chachoengsao Junction except Phra Phutthachai tunnel and Bu Yai station yard to be done in Feb 2019
Contract 2 by Right Tunneling at 407.05 Million Baht to deal with Phra Phutthachai tunnel and Bu yai station yard (9 km) to be done in April 2018
2. Thanon Jira - Khon Kaen (185 km - including the new elevated station at Khon Kaen) original cost at 26004.90 Million Baht - the actual bidding is 23430 Million Baht by CKCH (Ch. Karnchang and Ch. Thawee Construction) to be done in Feb 2019
3. Prachuab Khirikhan - Chumporn (167 km - including the new station building at Chumporn) original cost at 17290.63 Million Baht - the reduced cost is 16704.70 Million Baht - waiting for cabinet approval after EIA has been done so as to start the bidding in May 2016 and contract signed in October 2016
4. Lopburi - Pak Nam Pho (148 km - including 30 km bypass route at Tha Wung) - original cost at 24840.54 Million Baht - the reduced cost is 24091.91 Million Baht - waiting for cabinet approval after EIA has been done so as to start the bidding in May 2016 and contract signed in September 2016 so the construction can be started in October 2016
5. Map Krabao - Thanon Jira (132 km - including 4 new tunnels, new station buildings and new via ducts to pass through Dong Phraya Yen and Lam Takhong reservoir) - original cost at 29853.18 Million Baht - the reduced cost is 28991.81 Million Baht - waiting for cabinet approval after EIA has been done so as to start the bidding in May 2016 and contract signed in September 2016 so the construction can be started in October 2016
6. Nakhon Pathom-Hua Hin (165km - including the new elevated station at Hua Hin) original cost at 20036.53 Million Baht - the reduced cost is 19163.34 Million Baht - waiting for cabinet approval after EIA has been done so as to start the bidding in May 2016 and contract signed in September 2016 so the construction can be started in October 2016
Phase 2 construction
7. Hua Hin - Prachuab Khirikhan (90 km) original cost at 8729 Million Baht - the reduced cost is 8516 Million Baht - Need EIA Clearance which is to be done in July 2016 cabinet approval in August 2016
8. Pak Nam Pho - Denchai (285 km) - design to be done by the end of April 2016 - Waiting for EIA
9. Thanon Jira - Ubon Ratchatani (309 km) - - design to be done by the end of April 2016 - Waiting for EIA
10. Khon Kaen - Nong Khai (174 km) - design to be done by the end of April 2016 - Waiting for EIA
11. Chumporn - Surat Thani (167 km) - design to be done by the end of April 2016 - Waiting for EIA
12. Surat Thani - Hatyai - Songkla (324 km) - design to be done by the end of July 2016 - Waiting for EIA
New Lines which just has been approved for investment by SRT Board just before Sonkran 2016:
1. Den Chai - Chiang Rai - Chiang Khong (323 km) original cost at 77484.14 Million Baht - the reduced cost is 76,980 Million Baht (Construction cost is 71696.34 Million Baht)- need to wait for NESDB approval in May 2016 and cabinet approval in June 2016 before drafting the TOR for bidding in August - September 2016 - so as to call a bidding in October 2016 - January 2017 ... However, EIA will be done by the end of June 2018 so the construction will be actually started at the end of 2018 even though there is a plan for preliminary construction at the less problematic sections in Mid 2017 - and it will take 48 months to be done so this line will be opened in December 2022 - with a hope to get the passengers at 4811 passengers a day + 859 tons of cargo since this line has economic benefit of 13.31% and financial benefit of 1.02%
2. Ban Phai - Nakhon Phanom (355 km) - original cost at 30510.60 Million Baht at 347 km but the cost overrun due to the pressing demands by local people has to move the starting point from Bang Phai station to the new station 2-3 km North of Ban Phai station so as to get enough space for the yard along with the demands from those in Loeng Nok Tha district of Yasothon so as to make Loeng Nok Tha to become the main dropping point for Yasothon and Amnart Charoen so the new cost is 60,353 Million Baht (construction cost 54226.86 Million Baht) - need to wait for NESDB approval in May 2016 and cabinet approval in June 2016 before drafting the TOR for bidding in August - September 2016 - so as to call a bidding in October 2016 - January 2017 ... However, EIA will be done by the end of June 2018 so the construction will be actually started at the end of 2018 even though there is a plan for preliminary construction at the less problematic sections in Mid 2017 - and it will take 48 months to be done so this line will be opened in December 2022 - with a hope to get 8628 passengers a day and 1713 tons of cargo a day since this line has economic benefit of 12.04% and financial benefit of 1.49%
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