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The Administrative Court dismissed the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTSC)’s request for the cancellation of the second round of bidding for the subway system’s Orange Line western extension.
BTSC, the operator of sky trains in Bangkok, wanted the bidding to be scrapped because they said it was allegedly designed to prevent BTSC from winning the bid and to help a particular consortium to win it instead.
The first round of bidding in July 2020 was scrapped by the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) after it was held up in lawsuits.
The lawsuits came after the MRTA changed the bidding criteria in August 2020 after it received offers from several firms, including BTSC.
BTSC filed a lawsuit with the Administrative Court in September 2020, citing that the MRTA’s decision to change in bidding criteria was unlawful.
By February 2021, the MRTA cancelled the first round of bidding, prompting the BTSC to file another lawsuit against the decision.
The Administrative Court then in February 2022 ruled that the changing of the bidding criteria in 2020 was unlawful and in July 2022, the court also decided that the cancellation of the first round of bidding was also unlawful.
However, the court did not rule against the second round of bidding which was offered in May 2022.
The BTSC did not participate in the second round of bidding and they have asked the court to rule whether the second round of bidding was lawful or not.
The court decided on Tuesday that the bidding can go ahead.
The court said the request for proposal (RFP) document that was offered in the second round of bidding was purchased by 14 companies, both local and abroad, which was more than 10 companies in the first round. They said the higher number of companies that purchased the RFP document showed that there was more competition for the offer.
The court also said that the offer was open for consortiums because there is no way that one company can fulfill all the promised services but it was not blocking out BTSC’s bid either.
Therefore, the second round of bidding can resume.
Two companies have submitted their proposals during the latest tendering period, including Bangkok Expressway and Metro and Italian-Thai Development.
The construction of the 35.9-kilometre Orange Line’s western expansion is estimated to worth around 140 billion baht.
The railway’s 22.5-kilometre eastern line runs from the Thailand Cultural Centre to Min Buri. The 13.4-kilometre western line runs from the culture centre to Bang Khun Non.