Transport Ministry ordered to pay compensation to Hopewell

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Bangkok – The Supreme Administrative Court has ordered the Ministry of Transport to pay 11.88 billion baht in compensation for the undue scrapping of a construction concession held by Hopewell Holdings Co. in a long-standing lawsuit.

The Supreme Administrative Court overruled the Central Administrative Court in an appeal lawsuit filed by Hopewell Holdings (Thailand) Co. and sided with the construction firm, which had called for the Ministry of Transport and the State Railway of Thailand to pay compensation for the scrapping of the concession for the construction of a railway and an elevated road, as well as the use of SRT’s land in Bangkok.

The Supreme Administrative Court upheld the Tribunal Committee’s ruling to the extent that the Ministry of Transport and SRT pay 11.88 billion baht in compensation plus a 7.5% interest per annum to Hopewell Co. within a 180-day timeframe.

The Hopewell project, launched in the time of former premier Chatchai Choonhavan, called for the construction of the 60-kilometer-long elevated road to alleviate Bangkok’s traffic congestion for which Hopewell had won the bidding and signed the concession. However, the project had been considerably slowed due to the problematic handover of the plots of land along the proposed route. After seven years of construction, which had only been 13.77% completed, the Ministry of Transport officially terminated the concession in the time of former premier Chuan Leekpai in 1998.