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Phuket NEWS: Phuket light-rail plan inches forward

Original article: The Phuket Gazette ; Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Phuket Provincial Office will finalize its list of potential bidders for work on a light-rail and other transport mega-projects next week.

At a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall last Wednesday, Phuket Vice Governor Nivit Aroonrat told government officials and private sector attendees the province would draft invitation letter to the finalist bidders on June 16.

Among the organizations represented were the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning, Phuket Public Works And Town & Country Planning office, Phuket Tourist Association and the Phuket Federation of Industries.

The meeting’s discussions focused on increasing coordination for the purpose of economic development and review of existing laws regulating private-sector investment in state-owned projects.

Also reviewed for consideration were the latest blueprints, logistic plans and studies conducted on the proposed light rail route and other projects, including the controversial Patong Tunnel.

V/Gov Niwit said there are about 10 potential investors, including both Thai and foreign firms.

After an investor invitation draft is finalized, official invitations will be sent to the selected investors, he said.

Once all parties are in agreement, a proposal will be submitted to the Interior Ministry’s National Economic and Social Development Board for final approval from the Cabinet, he added.

With the draft deadline fast approaching, another Korean delegation joined the bid to invest in Phuket’s light-rail project yesterday.

Moo Han Tech (Thailand) Co Ltd Director Jin Ying Ji and two representativesfrom Global Business Leader Group (GBL)from Korea – Han Min Ho and Kim Chang Ha, respectively President and Chairman of GBL – met Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha in his office at 2pm.

Miss Kim told the governor her group has invested in several projects around the world including a hospital, a university, a rail link and an airport.

They are prepared to make a large investment in the future of Phuket transport, she said.

The light rail investment, which would tentatively link Phuket Airport to points as far south as Chalong Circle, is estimated to be about 10 billion baht.

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