ADB agrees to finance £245m for Bangkok’s MRT system

WCN Editorial Team 6 Jun 2019 ASIA TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide THB9.9bn (£245m) in financing for the construction and operation of the Pink and Yellow lines of Bangkok’s mass rapid transit (MRT) system.

The financing package of ADB is comprised of two loans of THB4.95bn (£122.5m) to the Northern Bangkok Monorail (NBM) and the Eastern Bangkok Monorail (EBM) to build and operate the two new lines. The two lines will add to the five existing lines presently operating in Bangkok.

BSR Joint Venture (BSR) established special purpose vehicles NBM and EBM to operate the Pink and Yellow MRT lines, respectively. BSR is a joint venture between BTS Group and Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction and RATCH Group.

The Pink Line will operate between Min Buri district in Bangkok and Khae Rai in Nonthaburi province, with a total length of about 34.5km, while the Yellow Line will run between Lat Phrao in Bangkok and Samrong in Samut Prakan province with a total length of about 30km.

ADB private sector operations department deputy director general Christopher Thieme said: “Bangkok’s continued status as one of Southeast Asia’s global business hubs depends on relieving traffic congestion and increasing sustainable public transport services.

“ADB’s assistance will catalyze commercial financing for Thailand’s MRT sector and help provide a wider choice of affordable and efficient public transport for Bangkok’s rapidly growing population.”

ADB believes that that the two new lines, upon completion, are expected in cutting down on air pollution from vehicles and greenhouse gas emissions, while reducing the traffic congestion in the Thai capital.

BTS Group executive director and deputy chief executive officer Terence C. K. Kong said: “ADB's involvement as a lender enhanced the overall bankability of the project by providing a long tenor repayment profile. It will provide more flexibility on cashflow management and help mitigate ridership risk at the opening stage of the project.

“This enables us to deliver a successful project and a public transport option that will be efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly.”

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Image: ADB to support two new MRT lines in Bangkok. Photo: Courtesy of The Asian Development Bank.

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