Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/12/2014 -- BMI View: The short-term outlook for Thailand's construction sector has significantly deteriorated, as the ongoing political crisis in Thailand has heightened our previous concerns towards the sector. These include delays in implementing several initiatives intended to spur infrastructure development, and the limited potential for growth in the residential and non-residential building sector. As such, we have revised down our full-year construction forecasts for 2013 and 2014, with construction real growth reaching 3.7% (previously 5.2%) in 2013 and 3.5% (previously 4.5%) in 2014.
Key developments in the country's infrastructure industry include:
- In October 2013, the Thai Ministry of Energy announced that it would be amending the country's power development plan (now between 2013 and 2033) before the end of 2013. According to the Ministry's Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO), key amendments would include prioritising coal as the preferred fuel for power generation and recommending stepping up imports of hydropower from neighbouring countries. Further details have not yet been provided.
- In November 2013, FPM Infrastructure Holdings, which is 75%-owned by Hong Kong-based First Pacific and 25%-owned by Philippines-based Metro Pacific Investments, invested PHP5.8bn (US $132mn) to acquire a 29.45% stake in a toll road operator in Thailand, Don Muang Tollway (DMT). DMT operates a 21.9km six-lane elevated toll road stretching from Din Daeng in central Bangkok past Don Muang Airport and on to the National Monument in the north of the capital. The company's concession ends in 2034. The other major shareholders of DMT include the Phanichewa Group with a stake of 37.1% and Thailand's Ministry of Finance with 25.1%.
- In November 2013, CH Karnchang, the concessionaire for the 23km Purple line, signed a US$400mn deal with a Japanese consortium to provide equipment and rolling stock for the line as well as 10 years of maintenance service. According to the contract with CH Karnchang, Marubeni and Toshiba will equip the Purple line with rolling stock, power distribution equipment, signalling, control systems and telecommunications. The rolling stock, a total of 63 cars, will be manufactured by Japan Transport Engineering (J-TREC), a member of the East Japan Railway (JR East). The Purple Line will be the first line in Bangkok's rail network to deploy Japanese rolling stock and be maintained by a Japanese team under a long-term contract. The Purple Line is expected to be completed in 2017 and run from Bang Yai in Nonthaburi Province, northwest of Bangkok, to Bang Sue in southern Bangkok. It is being developed by the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) under a public-private partnership scheme funded by loans from the Japanese government.
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