22nd January 2021
FS International signed a Preliminary Service Agreement (PSA) with Thai company Eastern High-Speed Rail Linking Three Airports, concessionaire of the homonymous project which overall amounts around €6 billion.
The agreement signed by FS International involves the preparatory activities for the takeover of the Airport Rail Link Operation & Maintenance service in view of the final contract - the Operation & Maintenance Contract Agreement (OMCA), which will include the operation and maintenance of three railway systems including infrastructure, rolling stock and depots: the 33 km Airport Rail Link between Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Bangkok city centre, the 22 km Airport Link Extension to Don Muang Airport and the new 220 km high-speed line linking the three main Thai airports.
In spite of the severe contingent issues due to the ongoing health emergency, an initial team of experts has already been sent to Thailand to start preliminary tasks and provide specialist support for the design and construction of Thailand's first high-speed railway line.
FS International will manage the Airport Rail Link service from October 2021 through the local company FS ITALIAN RAILWAYS THAILAND LTD, currently being set up with GS RAIL and FSTechnology. The new company will also act as a driving force for business expansion in the area, as Filippo Scotti, CEO of FS International S.p.A., explains: "This iconic project is part of FS International S.p.A.'s strategic development plan, which has targeted the Asia & Pacific market as one of the most interesting ones to export the FS Group's multidisciplinary integrated mobility portfolio, evidenced by the involvement of numerous Group companies”.
Indeed, the initiative is carried out with the contributions of RFI, Trenitalia, Italferr and Italcertifer according to their respective technical areas of expertise, and conducted in collaboration with the Italian Embassy in Bangkok and the Thai Embassy in Rome, which have facilitated contacts between the partners, guaranteeing concrete help for the necessary administrative procedures, made particularly complex by the current pandemic.
The new high-speed line is part of the broader 2018-2038 infrastructure investment plan, estimated at a total of $45 billion, launched by the Thai government to transform the country into a future regional hub. It is also a major component of the Eastern Economic Corridor, the ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) economic growth corridor that will connect to the Belt and Road Initiative, the subject of the Memorandum of Understanding concluded in March 2019 by the governments of Italy and China.