Green Line extensions: Operator anticipates 20 billion baht debt repayment

Photo by Bangkok Post

Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC) Chairman Keeree Kanjanapas expressed optimism regarding the repayment of overdue debts by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) for the operation and maintenance of the Green Line extensions. Following a meeting with Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt yesterday, Keeree said the discussions were encouraging, and he anticipates a 20 billion baht repayment from the BMA.

Keeree revealed that the BMA owes BTSC, the Green Line operator also known as the BTS Skytrain, a total of about 50 billion baht. The first part, amounting to 20 billion baht, covers the operations and maintenance expenses of the Green Line extensions. The second part, estimated at 30 billion baht, is for the electrical and mechanical installations necessary for the system’s operation.

Keeree expressed confidence in the company’s repayment, stating that Chadchart promised to present the issue to the Bangkok City Council for consideration next month.

Regarding the 30 billion baht portion, Keeree said it must be submitted to the cabinet for approval. He noted that the caretaker government should be able to decide Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, who opposes it, is currently suspended from duty. He said

“I hope the caretaker cabinet can make a decision. If it can’t, the new government should. We’re not worried because we have contracts hiring us to operate and maintain the services.”

Chadchart confirmed that the BMA has funds to service the debts, but must ensure repayment is in accordance with the law and budget regulations, reported Bangkok Post.

“We sympathise with the operator because they’re shouldering massive costs providing the train services. But repayment must be done in accordance with due legal processes.”

The issue will be submitted to the Bangkok City Council for consideration when it reconvenes.

Last September, BTSC took the debt dispute to the Central Administrative Court, which ruled in its favour. The debt repayment would cover two parts — the first for the operation and maintenance of the first extension and the other for the same costs for the second extension.

The first extension includes the On Nut-Bearing and Saphan Taksin-Bang Wa sections, while the second extension comprises the Bearing-Samut Prakan and Mo Chit-Saphan Mai-Khu Khot lines.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.