Hopewell/BERTS: Viaduct collapse
I must go and read the story in more depth, but I think initial reactions are extremely valid. This sudden realisation that Hopewell's pillars are not up to snuff seems like a blatant piece of mischief-making by someone. I wouldn't doubt for one minute that it is desirable to get these structures out of the way and put some very necessary infrastructure there instead. I'm no great liker of big business, and I don't suppose for one minute that Gordan Hopewell (and/or the BTS management) are whiter than white. By all means move hell & high-water to get these transit systems up & running; but don't try to pull the wool over our eyes either. This is undoubtedly a very cynical piece of politicking and further proof that the powers-that-be have a very unhealthy attitude towards innovative people who are not entirely of their own frame of mind. If it is too weak; why was it allowed to proceed this far?
Last edited by GWR; 29-09-07 at 08:41 PM.
I am just wondering what the underlying reason is for discrediting the Hopewell Pillars .... Are they trying to sabotage the winner of the Airlink? Or is it a ploy to exhort more money? Or is it just incompetence?
Yep a BIG Ploy for Extorting more Money from taxpayers ...
Now, the mediators said MOat and SRT has to pay 2.85 billion Baht back to Hopewell + 2,293,510,274 Baht interest -> total 5,143,510,274 Baht befoe doing any further for Red Line Commuter
Originally Posted by Hat-Yai Junc
MOT said that they are gogin to Sue agaisnt Hopewell for 200 Billion Baht after the Mediators said SRT and MOT have to pay back nearly 12 Billion Baht for terminating the contract.
The payment of 11.88875 Billion Baht (excluded 7.5% annula interest) consisted of
1) 500 Million Baht Underwritting letter from Bangkok Bank PCL
2) 2850 Million Baht for the loss oppotunity
3) 38.7498 Million Baht of the collaterals for the Underwritting letter from Bangkok Bank PCL
4) 9000 Million Baht construction.
This ONLY remidn the case of the contractors suing RSR on the terminatign the contract of the Nakhon Ratchasima Railway construction due to the Poor results of working. Siamese Governemnt had to pay compensation to Murrey Cambell at 160,016 Pound (Gold Soverigns) 3 Shillings 6 Pences or 2,480,250 Million Baht - very large sum of the day INDEED.
Hopewell/BERTS on Wikipedia
I finally wrote up the Hopewell/BERTS project for Wikipedia:
And largely thanks to Ron's great "Stonehenge" picture it made the front page as well through the "Did you know?" column:
SRT Forced to Pay Hopewell 12,388,479,000 Baht + 7.5% Annual Interest
Mediator delivered the judgement that SRT has to pay Hopewell 12,388,479,000 Baht + 7.5% Annual Interest for the cancelation of the contract after SRT has sued Hopewell for compensation at 59,581,788,026.15 Baht after breaching the contractes before cancleation in 1998.
Originally Posted by jpatokal
However, SRT board is going to appeal to oppose the judgement by mediators.
Stonehenge should be a memorial to how pathetic past governments were.
I never knew why the project stalled.
I think slow land acquisition wasn't much of an excuse. I think hopewell fell behind schedule and ran out of money. However for that much money only the pillars were made for 5 years? Not one road or track?
7.5% interest, 10 years the principle will double. However I don't think any money will actually change hands ever to/from hopewell or the government.
Even BKK - Khorat railway should count but at least BKk - Khorat has been done in 1900 and opened for services since 21 Dec 1900 even though Siamese Government has to pay about 5 Million Ticals to the British contractor from Singapore after calcelling the contract in 1896 due to the sloppiness of the contractor's works.
Originally Posted by mdechgan
High metal prices in recent years has meant that anything not 'bolted down' will gradually disappear. This was perhaps inevitable sooner or later...
Hopewell section crumbles by MONTIEN INTAKET & WATCHARAPONG THONGRUNG THE NATION March 2, 2012
A section of the abandoned Hopewell elevated train project collapsed in Bangkok's Chatuchak district yesterday morning, prompting authorities to check the strength of the rest of the project's towering, unused structures. No one was injured in yesterday's collapse.
Transport Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan said he had instructed the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) to check the Hopewell structures and reinforce them where necessary. "The SRT has also been ordered to consider dismantling those parts that consist only of iron," he said. Charupong said the SRT has assigned the Engineering Institute of Thailand to examine the Hopewell structures. "I have received a report that the SRT had used scaffolding to support some parts of the Hopewell structure [that collapsed], but someone stole iron bars from the scaffolding. The iron scaffolding could not longer shoulder the weight of a concrete beam supporting the structure," the transport minister said.
When the concrete beam crumbled, concrete chunks were scattered over a nearby inbound railway track. Arrangements were made to use an alternate tack, ensuring train service continued uninterrupted even as officials continued to remove debris from the track. Locals said they rushed to the site after hearing something collapse. The spot is just 100 metres from Samian Naree Temple. Police suggested that stolen bolts and iron bars within the scaffolding, in addition to a lack of maintenance, might have been responsible for the collapse of the long-neglected structure. Investigations are ongoing to determine the exact cause of the incident.
No injuries, but debris litters railway; officials say parts of supporting scaffolding stolen
SRT Governor Yuttana Tapcharoen yesterday said it took about three hours to clear the debris from the affected track, and that it would take about one week to clear all of the debris from the affected area. "Engineers will be dispatched to determine the extent of the damage to the structure," he said. Yuttana said the strength of the structure had been checked earlier, prompting the erection of scaffolding to support the concrete beam. "But recently, thieves stole iron bars from the structure. That's probably why the beam fell," he said.
Initiated during the Chatichai Choonhavan administration, the Hopewell Project was planned as an elevated train route intended to solve Bangkok's traffic problems. SNC-Lavalin was named the concessionaire of the project in a contract signed by the then-transport minister in 1990.
The contract was later reviewed, scrapped and revived, before being permanently abandoned in 1997. After the government officially cancelled the contract, the concessionaire demanded compensation. On November 8, 2008, an arbitration panel issued a ruling requiring the Transport Ministry and SRT to pay Bt11.885 billion to the concessionaire, who started construction but never finished it. Many structures erected as part of the doomed project still stand in Bangkok.
An informed source said the SRT had filed a petition with the Central Administrative Court asking for permission not to pay compensation to the Hopewell concessionaire. Authorities have been looking into the possibility of integrating some of the unused Hopewell structures into the Red Line train project.
The train route that went nowhere, BKK Post 2/03/2012
The concrete pillars and beams stretching along Vibhavadi Rangsit Road have been an eyesore for residents for more than 15 years _ the last remnants of a grandiose plan to run 60km of rail and road across Bangkok to ease the capital's notorious road traffic.
Hopewell (Thailand), a unit of Hong Kong's Hopewell Holdings, won the 80-billion-baht, 30-year concession for the Bangkok Elevated Road and Train System in 1990. But problems emerged right from the start.
November 1990: Contract signed between Hopewell, the Transport Ministry and the State Railway of Thailand, with completion set in stages from 1995 to 1999.
1992: The Anand Panyarachun government suspends the project.
1993: The Chuan Leekpai government revives the project despite questions about its viability, construction delays, cost overruns and basic design specifications.
1997: Construction ceases in August, ostensibly due to the economic crisis. The Chavalit Yongchaiyudh government terminates the project in December.
1998: The Chuan Leekpai government formally terminates the concession contract in January. After seven years, only 13% of the project is complete, compared with an original timetable of 89% completion. Both the government and Hopewell threaten legal action against each other for the project's cancellation.
Hopewell collapse sparks probe: Passing train narrowly escapes platform plunge, BKK Post, 2/03/2012
An investigation has been launched into the structural integrity of remnants of the abandoned Hopewell concrete pilings after a massive slab measuring six by 50 metres collapsed 20 metres to the ground yesterday. The incident happened around 8am near Wat Samian Nari temple in Chatuchak district.
A concrete section of the abandoned Hopewell elevated transit project collapsed next to the northbound rail line in Chatuchak district yesterday morning. Wrecked scaffolding blocked one of the tracks and delayed train services. No one was injured. RATTASEEMA PONGSEN
Railway officials vowed to conduct a complete inspection of pilings from the Hopewell project before deciding whether to reuse some of the parts for the new Red Line light-rail mass transit project. While the collapse yesterday narrowly missed a train running along the route, no injuries were recorded from the accident. Debris from the collapse blocked inbound rail links from north Bangkok to the city, disrupting train services. The concrete slab, supported by steel scaffolds and five concrete pillars, was intended for use as part of a station for the Hopewell elevated train project, initiated in 1990 but later abandoned due to financial problems.
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) had hoped to use parts of the concrete pilings partially built as part of the Hopewell project for its multi-billion-baht Red Line, running from Bang Sue to Rangsit. Transport Minister Jarupong Ruangsuwan said engineers from the SRT and the Engineering Institute of Thailand would carry out a complete inspection of the Hopewell pilings to see if they could be used. "If they are not stable and strong enough, they'll be demolished and will not be used for the construction of the Red Line rail route," he said. Authorities blamed the collapse on substandard construction and theft of bolts and beams from the steel scaffolding that had helped support the concrete platform.
SRT Governor Yutthana Thapcharoen said train services resumed normally after three hours, as workers cleared debris from the scene. A full clean-up is expected to be completed within one week. Mr Yutthana quoted Thanes Veerasiri, the secretary-general of the Engineering Institute of Thailand (EIT), as saying the elevated concrete platform had been improperly cemented to its ground supports, and that the failure of the steel scaffolding had resulted in the collapse. A similar elevated platform built by Hopewell and located 200m from the accident site will be inspected by SRT engineers to decide whether it should be completely dismantled.
Once the project was suspended, parts of the steel scaffolds supporting the platforms were stolen by corrupt officials and construction workers, jeopardising the stability of the structures. Mr Yutthana acknowledged that theft of parts of the scaffolds had been the main cause of the collapse. The EIT's Mr Thanes said the accident highlighted the dangers that existed across the city from incomplete construction projects. After the 1997 economic crisis, an estimated 500 construction projects in Bangkok were left incomplete.
While some have since been completed, many others remain concrete and steel skeletons abandoned by their project owners. "We should have a law that requires owners of suspended buildings or incomplete projects to have an engineer or expert conduct regular structural inspections for the sake of safety," Mr Thanes said. "Many project owners don't visit them and have no idea their building may collapse one day." Mr Thanes said the main reason these structures could collapse is that key support materials had been removed, or from simple decay. He added the concrete structure that collapsed yesterday had not been part of the new Red Line construction plans.
Residents in the area said it was fortunate that no one was hurt in the accident. "I think the punctual running of my morning train saved many lives, including mine," said Somsri Boonthes, a 47-year-old roast pork vendor at the Wat Samian Nari temple. Mrs Somsri said she usually bought pork in Don Muang and took the morning Ayutthaya-Bangkok train to the Bang Khen station before walking to the temple along the railway to set up her food stall. "I was lucky. Yesterday I didn't walk along the rail tracks, but instead took a motorcycle to the temple market," she said. Wee Promchantra, a 55-year-old local plant vendor, said she heard sounds of steel bending and snapping for about 10 minutes yesterday morning as the concrete platform fell to the ground.
Let's see the result next week whether Hopwell structure has to be demolished
Khun Suwat obviously doesn't know what the Hopewell project involved if he did say that it was not designed to support railways. Perhaps a misquote or a misunderstanding by the reporter?
EIT warns on reusing structures, BKK Post 3/03/2012
The abandoned Hopewell mass transit structures should be tested before any part of them is used to support the Red Line elevated train project, says the Engineering Institute of Thailand. EIT president Suwat Chaopreecha said its engineers had examined the structures and found they were built incompletely.
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) should examine them if it planned to use part of the structures for its railway project, he said. He suggested the structures that are not used for the railway project be demolished for public safety. [B]Mr Suwat said the Hopewell structures were strong enough to support the SRT's elevated train project because they were designed to support railways.[B] However, some steel and concrete structures may need reinforcement.
Part of the elevated concrete platform collapsed near Wat Samian Nari temple in Chatuchak district on Thursday. Mr Suwat said construction of the platform ceased before completion due to legal conflicts between Hopewell (Thailand) Co and the government. The elevated slab was supported by scaffolding and concrete pillars. The structures had been abandoned for up to 20 years and weakened because their bolts and beams had been stolen, Mr Suwat said. "Technically, steel scaffolds must be removed after construction is completed. "Steel parts and bolts were removed by thieves and this was partly the cause of the collapse," he said.
Mr Suwat said concrete support structures normally last 50-100 years. However, those that support the Hopewell project may have shorter life because they have not been in use and maintained. The EIT president and Silpachai Jarukasemrat, acting permanent secretary of the Transport Ministry, will inspect the collapse site next Monday to consider how to safely remove the debris. Mr Suwat said clearing away the debris might take up to a month. Hopewell's concrete slabs were intended for use in a station for an elevated train project started in 1990 but abandoned due to financial problems.
SRT, BMA to inspect unfinished Hopewell project, The Nation March 3, 2012
The State Railways of Thailand and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will conduct an inspection of the unfinished Hopewell project for stability and to prevent further collapses, deputy Bangkok governor Theerachon Manomaiphibool said yesterday. The BMA will also inspect large signboards across the city to ensure they are stable, he added.
Asked whether the collapse of a section of the unfinished Hopewell project on Thursday would affect the Bang SueRangsit commuter train scheme, which was expected to rely on the pillars, Theerachon said a number of the pillars had already been used in building the airport link. Theoretically, a concrete structure that is reinforced with steel and is not exposed to rain and sunlight for long periods can still be useable, he added. "However, close inspection is still needed to find out if they need to be further reinforced. If the pillars are strong enough then there should be no problems, like the pillars that were used in the airportlink project," he added.
Last edited by Yappofloyd; 08-03-12 at 04:28 PM.
Seems to me that the abandoned Hopewell project has always been in the public eye ....an every day eyesore!
Collapsed platform brings abandoned Hopewell back in public eye by Watcharapong Thongrung The Nation March 8
The recent collapse of a giant concrete slab and steel scaffolding at the Hopewell project will attract more public attention to the pending appeal ruling at the Administrative Court over Bt12 billion in compensation demanded from the Thai authorities by the Hong Kong-based company.
Getting on for 20 years, the public had been largely trying to ignore the controversial abandoned project between Hopewell (Thailand), which is a subsidiary of Hong Kongbased Hopewell Holdings, and the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) - that is, until the collapse of part of the construction last Thursday. The incident involving a collapsed platform section has brought to the surface four key issues.
First, Hopewell (Thailand)'s demand for compensation of Bt12 billion for unfair trade practice after the SRT cancelled the contract, leaving the project partconstructed. The amount claimed is not only to compensate for the partial construction, but also because the government now plans to use the construction to proceed with the Red Line commuter train project.
Second, the SRT in turn is seeking Bt200 billion in compensation from Hopewell in return for business opportunity losses from land development along the 26-kilometre Bang Sue-Rangsit route, as well as benefit-sharing from the project.
Third, there are the SRT's costs in having to pay a surcharge to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) after missing loan repayment as scheduled under the contract. So far, the agency has had to pay a surcharge of Bt33 million.
Finally, the pending ruling will delay Red Line route construction, as Hopewell and the SRT have not been able to reach a compromise. In particular, the prolonged wait for the appeal court ruling has undermined foreign investor confidence as regards the operation of government megaprojects. Investors could now be reluctant to join hands with the government, or they would have to add the risk cost into such projects.
From the Hopewell side, however, now is a good time to attract more attention to the drawnout case, as the group needs to achieve compensation for its business loss in Thailand. On the other hand, the SRT wants to end the case without having to make any payment, arguing that it was Hopewell that had breached the agreement. This would allow the agency to proceed with the Red Line commuter rail route, which is now behind schedule as construction was due to begin last year.
Red Line construction is scheduled for completion by 2016 at an investment of Bt75.54 billion. The SRT inked the Bt63.87billion loan agreement with Jica in March, 2009. It had to repay the first instalment of the loan last year, but this was delayed due to the problems surrounding the project. The first-phase construction contract of the Red Line, to establish the central station and maintenance centre, is being negotiated by the SRT and a joint venture between SinoThai Engineering and Construction and Unique Engineering and Construction, which had offered the lowest bid at Bt31 billion. However, the Cabinet approved a lower budget of Bt27.17 billion for the first phase.
In 2008, an arbitrator ruled in favour of Hopewell, ordering the SRT to pay Bt12 billion in compensation. Of the total, Bt9 billion is to compensate for the construction cost, Bt2.85 billion for land utilisation, Bt38.7 million for the cost of the bank guarantee issued at a 7.5-percent interest rate, and Bt500 million for the guarantee itself. However, the SRT petitioned the Office of the Attorney General to forward the case to the Administrative Court, seeking that the court nullify the arbitrator's ruling. The case is still pending a final ruling by the Administrative Court, besides which the SRT also wants a decision on compensation of Bt200 billion from Hopewell for business opportunity losses.