Mega-projects : 9 lines, 770 billions, 276 stations, 3 years

The Transport Minister has presented the mass-transit projects of the new governement.

It’s important to keep it… for history.

Why ? Because the mega-projects have been since a few years the mega-Lochness Monster… So with this plan we will be able to judge the government’s work. And its promises.


Speaking at a seminar called “Road Map of the Economic Recovery” held by the Nation Multimedia Group, Transport Minister Santi Prompat said the first phase costing Bt259 billion, consisting of the Purple Line, Blue Line, Light Green Line and Red Line, would begin this year.

Of the construction cost, Bt140 billion will come from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Bt95 billion from a 30-year bond issue. The remainder will be from the government.

The Purple Line, linking Bang Yai to Bang Sue, will open for tender by the end of this month. On March 31, the Bangkok Mass Transport Authority will sign a contract with the JBIC to finance the project.

Details about the other lines, here.

Comments : 140 billions THB financed by the japanese bank JBIC ? I’ve never heard it. The last news from the JBIC was a loan of 30 billions, in 2 tranches, to finance the Purple Line.


Santi said the second phase would cost a total of Bt510 billion. Most of that will be spent on extension of the first rail routes and another three lines, which will begin next year.

“On completion, there will be a total of 276 stations,” Santi said.

The advantage with a “second phase” is that it’s in the… future… How those 510 billions THB (16 billions USD) will be financed ? Not a word. Of course.

To sum’up :

-the first phase is the only realistic one

-the 3 years deadline is surreal (it’s enough to compare with other mega-projects like the airport, the train line to the airport, the extension work of the current BTS skytrain line etc.)

-only a few construction companies can bid for theses lines… But they can’t work simultaneously.

Add to this : further financing problems (it’s a basic rule that such large construction works always run over budget)

The last word : read this article about… the delays to add a few electronic equipments on the 2,2-kilometre expansion of the skytrain line across the Chao Phya River (started 18 months ago)… We learn also that the extension to On Nut… is only 50 % completed… after 15 months of work.

So : cut the crap.

The Mega-Projects are still, and are likely to remain a Mega-Fantasy, a Mega-Red Herring.

4 Responses to “Mega-projects : 9 lines, 770 billions, 276 stations, 3 years”

  1. 1 thaicrisis 26 March 2008 at 3:49 am

    Comment sent by ThaiChris.
    Other interesting fact. The new airport is on the eastern outskirts of Bangkok. Many new projects are currently built there. There is a direct link into the eastern seaboard and all the new facilities around Chonburi down to Rayong. But none of the proposed new lines does service these areas. Wonder where the next mega traffic jams will take place? Watch out Minburi, Ram Indra, Ramkhamhaeng. And the lines build into the western part will be deserted. But anyhow, as these mega projects will never fly, there is still time to adjust. By the way: Is the government aware, that there will be now ‘tea money’ this time due to the most recent scandals in Germany? They might loose there interest very fast.

  2. 2 thaicrisis 26 March 2008 at 3:51 am

    (Precision : he refers to the Siemens scandal in Germany. The large german company is accused of corruption and giving money to foreign officials.)

  3. 3 thaichris 27 March 2008 at 6:17 am

    thaichrisis is right. It’s SIEMENS. Wasn’t that the company which won the contract for the Sky Train? As far as I know, the German authoroties are currently looking into the details of the payments made by SIEMENS around the world. Wait for the names pop up. There might be some from Thailand too.

  4. 4 thaicrisis 27 March 2008 at 6:34 am


    In Thailand, Siemens’ reputation is widely recognized through two Bangkok mass transit projects: the elevated BTS ‘Skytrain’ and the underground M.R.T. Chaloem Ratchamongkhol Line or commonly called as the “Blue Line.” Both projects involved Siemens’ overall project management, supply and system integration of both electrical and mechanical system elements and equipment, as well as commissioning. Included were rolling stock, signaling and telecommunications equipment, power supply, SCADA system, automatic fare collection system, depot and workshop equipment, and automatic platform screen doors (for subway system).


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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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