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Eurotrain, THSRC have first day in Taiwan court.

TAIPEI, Jan. 28 Kyodo

Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. (THSRC) and the Eurotrain consortium went to court Friday to present arguments in a dispute over the selection of a Japanese-led consortium to build a 95 billion N.T. dollar (3 billion U.S. dollar) bullet-train system.

It was the first time lawyers for the two sides had appeared in court over the discord that erupted when Eurotrain was passed over by THSRC in late December as priority bidder to supply the core electrical systems for the planned 345-kilometer railway.

Eurotrain argued the decision to choose Taiwan Shinkansen Corp. violates an earlier agreement signed with THSRC and Eurotrain filed an injunction request with the Taipei District Court earlier this month to halt discussions between THSRC and the Japanese group.

Lawyers for both sides appeared at the Taipei District Court to present their arguments at the request of Judge Wang Jia-si, but all sides remained tightlipped on the day's events after proceedings recessed for the weekend.

THSRC began discussions with Taiwan Shinkansen, which is led by Mitsui and Co., in early January. It has made it clear Eurotrain's legal action will not affect the talks and it hopes a final agreement can be signed by the end of the month.

In related news, THSRC announced it had reached a consensus with the Ministry of Transport and Communications and three major Taiwan banks on financing for the rail project.

According to THSRC executives, 323.3 billion N.T. dollars will be provided jointly by the Bank of Taiwan, Chiao Tung Bank and the International Commercial Bank of China under an agreement to be signed Feb. 2.

Once the agreement is signed, construction of the railway will begin in earnest, executives said.

The railway is scheduled to be completed by 2005 and will carry commuters between Taipei in the north and Kaohsiung in the south in around 90 minutes.
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Comment:Eurotrain, THSRC have first day in Taiwan court.
Publication:Asian Political News
Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:Jan 31, 2000
Words:315
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