Thai water agency strongly defends K-Water

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BANGKOK, June 27 – A senior Thai government official today categorically denied an allegation of unscrupulous business operations against a South Korean contractor which won two of Thailand’s mega water management projects.

Suphot Tovichakchaikul, secretary general of the National Water and Flood Management Policy Office, described as groundless a statement by the South Korean Federation of Environmental Movements (SKFEM) which claimed that Korea Water Resources Cooperation (K-Water) is currently over 700 per cent indebted and incapable of achieving its assigned projects in South Korea.

K-Water, which won two projects worth Bt163 billion in Thailand, is a state enterprise wholly owned by the South Korean government, he said.

He said the financial performances for 2002-2012, submitted by K-Water, were valued at Bt680 billion – much higher than the requirement of at least Bt30 billion.

The South Korean embassy in Thailand has endorsed the qualifications of K-Water which was ranked A by Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s credit ratings.

Mr Suphot stood firm that the bids on water management projects were carried out transparently without favouritism or political interference.

South Korean activist organisation SKFEM said it was found that the building of dams in that country’s four rivers by K-Water was done without assessment or participation by the local communities and the the company damaged natural resources, compelling investigation by the South Korean National Audit and Prosecution Agency.