Agreement signed to build airports rail link

Thailand’s infrastructure-building program gathered steam last week as a consortium led by Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group signed an agreement with the government to build a rail line linking the three major international airports in Bangkok and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Minister of Transport Saksayam Chidchob presided over the signing ceremony at Government House. CP Group CEO Supachai Chearavanont signed the agreement on behalf of his company. The $7.3-billion project will connect Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Don Muang International Airport in Bangkok and U-Tapao International Airport in Rayong province in a lightning-fast transport network.

Bangkok and the adjacent three-province EEC are the economic engines of the Kingdom. The EEC is home to the ten advanced industries – including aviation – that the government is supporting to drive Thailand’s development to a higher-technology level.

Kanit Sangsubhan, Secretary-General of the EEC Office, said the agreement was a milestone, as the high-speed rail network is one of five major infrastructure projects designed to serve the EEC. The rail network should take five years to construct, he said.

Next month, Kanit said, a contract should be signed for the second of the five projects, the Eastern Airport City Project. Centered around U-Tapao International Airport, it will include an aerospace, industrial estate, research and development facilities, and a maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) center backed by THAI Airways International and Europe’s Airbus. The government believes Thailand can become the region’s leading aviation MRO center once the project is complete.

Charoen Pokphand is Thailand’s largest agro-industrial conglomerate. Its core businesses are agro and food products, and telecommunications. The rail project represents a new field of expansion for the company.

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