The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed an agreement with a financing package of 9.9 billion Thai baht (US$311 million equivalent) for the construction and operation of the Pink and Yellow lines of Bangkok’s mass rapid transit (MRT) system.
“Bangkok’s continued status as one of Southeast Asia’s global business hubs depends on relieving traffic congestion and increasing sustainable public transport services,” said Christopher Thieme, deputy director general of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department. “ADB’s assistance will catalyse 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’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,” said Terence C. K. Kong, executive director and deputy chief executive officer of BTS Group Holdings Public Company Limited. “This enables us to deliver a successful project and a public transport option that will be efficient, safe and environmentally friendly.”
ADB’s financing package is comprised of two B4.95 billion loans to the Northern Bangkok Monorail Company Limited (NBM) and the Eastern Bangkok Monorail Company Limited (EBM) for the construction and operation of the two new lines. These will add to the five existing lines currently operating in Thailand’s capital area.
The Pink Line, under NBM, will operate between Min Buri district in Bangkok and Khae Rai in Nonthaburi province, with a total length of about 34.5 km. EBM’s Yellow Line will operate between Lat Phrao in Bangkok and Samrong in Samut Prakan province with a total length of about 30 km.
NBM and EBM are special purpose vehicles established by BSR Joint Venture (BSR) to operate the Pink and Yellow MRT lines, respectively. BSR is a joint venture comprising BTS Group Holdings Public Company Limited, Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction Public Company Limited, and Ratch Group Public Company Limited.