November 12, 2018 / 4:37 AM / a month ago

Thailand's CP Group, allies to bid for $6.8 bln high-speed rail project

BANGKOK, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group) and 12 of its business allies have formed a consortium to bid on Monday for a $6.8 billion high-speed railway project that will link three main airports in the country, its executive said.

The railway project comes at a time when a surge in tourist arrivals - more than half the population - has already strained the Thai infrastructure.

In March, the government approved the 225 billion baht ($6.80 billion) rail project that will connect two airports in Bangkok areas - Don Mueang International and Suvarnabhumi International - with U-Tapao, which was built during the Vietnam War in the eastern province of Rayong.

The consortium comprises Charoen Pokphand Holding and China Railway Construction Corp Ltd, Adiruth Thothaveesansuk, vice chairman, CP Group’s Special Projects Development Office, said in a statement on Sunday.

According to the statement, the global consortium also includes China’s CITIC Group Corp, Germany’s Siemens , South Korea’s Hyundai, Bangkok Expressway and Metro Pcl, Italian-Thai Development PCL, Thailand’s CH Karnchang PCL, Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corp for Transport & Urban Development, China Resources (Holdings) Co Ltd, Italy’s Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, China’s CRRC-Sifang, and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

Thai conglomerate CP Group is controlled by billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont.

The project is part of the government’s larger transport infrastructure investment action plan covering rail, roads, airports and sea-ports.

The government started the bidding for the rail project earlier in the day and will announce the winner on Tuesday.

$1 = 33.07 baht Reporting by Satawasin Staporncharnchai, Writing by Orathai Sriring, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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