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Bangkok picks Siemens for first Bangkok subway, deal signed.

BANGKOK, Jan. 9 Kyodo

Thailand's first subway operator for Bangkok announced Wednesday it had chosen German industrial giant Siemens to provide the subway system and maintenance service in the Thai capital.

Bangkok Metro Co. Managing Director Sombat Kitjalaksana told a news conference that a deal with a French-Japanese joint venture formed by Alstom and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. had been dropped because of lower prices offered by Siemens.

Bangkok Metro signed a 350 million euro ($311.1 million) contract with Siemens on Dec. 19 after securing 11.15 billion baht ($254 million) for the project from four Thai banks, Sombat said.

Prapat Chongsanguan, director general of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA), said the MRTA board has tentatively approved the Bangkok Metro decision and a final approval would be made after all details of the deal are fully inspected.

Sombat said Alstom and Mitsubishi had offered a lower price than Siemens in an initial bid in 2000 when Bangkok Metro projected it would purchase more than 30 trains to serve 400,000 commuters a day.

As the projection of passenger numbers was later lowered to 240,000, Bangkok Metro decided to purchase 19 three-wagon trains from Siemens.

Siemens Ltd. Thailand President Ockert Van Zyl said financial support from the Japanese government is important for the subway project and said he welcomes ''appropriate involvement'' of Japanese suppliers.

The contract between Siemens and Bangkok Metro includes a complete infrastructure layout, including signalization techniques, electricity, communications and depots, delivery of 19 three-wagon trains, and maintenance service for 10 years, according to Siemens Thailand.

The equipment is to be delivered in 30 months, the German firm said.

The Thai government has awarded Bangkok Metro a 25-year concession to operate an initial 20-kilometer subway network in return for 10.27 billion baht. The concession includes fare collection, the supply of trains and the installation of platform doors.

The subway is expected to begin partial service in mid-2003 and full commercial service is expected to be in 2004, according to Bangkok Metro.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Geographic Code:9THAI
Date:Jan 14, 2002
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