A Thailand-based consortium seeking to develop the Eastern Airtport City Project is holding its breath for a High Court ruling over a dispute with the Royal Thai Navy seeking to block its offer.
The Supreme Administrative Court is expected to announce its ruling soon over the Charoen Pokphand Group’s unsolicited proposal to build the airport for 290 billion baht.
The dispute stemmed from the group’s submission of its offer after the 3 pm deadline of March 21, which the navy committee is asking to disqualify.
Paralee Techajongjintana, representing the consortium, cited in a Court hearing the large amount of documents which were brought gradually to the bid submission venue.
Techajongjintana emphasized that the group submitted all necessary filings including technical, financial, and business plans, as well as paid the fees without the officials raising any objection.
She said that the consortium understood that the bid was properly submitted and accepted by the navy committee.
Paralee also said that it would be in the public’s best interest if the consortium’s offer is considered by the committee.
For his part, Rear Adm Krekchai, who represents the Royal Thai Navy, said that the group’s late submission would set a bad precedent to the public and that potential bidders will no longer take submission deadlines seriously.
He said that the consortium should be aware of the submission procedures and deadlines for the offer.
Sought for his opinion, Judge Chiewcharn Sukchuay, who was presiding over the matter, told the High Court that the navy committee failed to clearly inform bidders of the submission procedures.
The judge also noted that the the group’s offer was accepted by the committee officials without any conditions.
Sukchuay added that the late bid submission could not result in an unfair competition for the two other bidders because the offers were not disclosed.
Sukchuay sought that the committee’s decision to disqualify the CP-led consortium be revoked.
However, the High Court’s decision may differ and may not be affected by the judge’s opinion.
The consortium is comprised of the group’s subsidiary Thana Holding Co, in partnership with Italian-Thai Development Plc, Ch. Karnchang Plc, B.Grimm Joint Ventures Holding Co, and Orient Success International Co.
Meanwhile, the counter bidders were the BBS Consortium and Asia Aviation Plc, which owns Thai AirAsia.
BBS Consortium is composed of Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction Plc (STEC), Bangkok Airways Plc, and BTS Group Holdings Plc.
PHOTO COURTESY: FLICKR