Mr. Supattanapong Punmeechaow, Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister, offered his congratulations to the contracting parties at the signing ceremony which took place today and added that the world, including Thailand, is continuing to face a major crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic which is having a major impact on economic growth and the way people live and work. The government is therefore promoting the balance between the economic recovery and public health management system, while maintaining momentum for the industrial sector and businesses so they can operate seamlessly, especially in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). The U-Tapao Airport and Eastern Aviation City Development Projects are crucial investment initiatives to develop the EEC, specifically supporting air transportation for both passengers and freight movements, and the necessary airport infrastructure which are key elements to the airport's operations. Consequently, it is necessary to select the right private sector partner to meet the needs for aviation fuel service systems. This is also an important step forward in developing the EEC and providing increased confidence to boost trade and investments among investors in the EEC area, which can lead to an economic recovery and ongoing developments in the country.
Mr. Kanit Sangsubhan, Secretary General, Eastern Economic Corridor Office of Thailand (EECO), said that the U-Tapao International Airport and Eastern Aviation City Development Projects are pursuing a strategic approach to infrastructure investments. The EECO and Royal Thai Navy have been working together to invite companies in the private sector to participate in the development of the utilities sector. The selection process for aviation fuel service was conducted with utmost transparency and accountability, with the "BAFS and OR joint venture" having been chosen as the tenant of the state property to operate an aircraft fuel service system at U-Tapao International Airport based on their extensive experience and conformity with international standards. This joint venture is expected to further optimize capabilities, adopt new technologies and innovations from the private sector, and achieve cost-savings. It will also provide the private sector with increased business opportunities while improving the performance of public services.
Mr. Prakobkiat Ninnad, President of BAFS, noted that as the country's leader in providing comprehensive aviation refueling systems, BAFS is trusted by oil companies and airlines around the world. The company remains focused on contributing to energy security and promoting economic growth for Thailand's aviation sector. Joining together with OR to establish GAA is an important move that supports the U-Tapao International Airport and Eastern Aviation City Development Projects, which in turn, can further strengthen the EEC.
Ms. Jiraphon Kawswat, President & CEO PTT Oil and Retail Business Public Company Limited (OR), said that as one of PTT Group's flagship companies and an energy leader, OR is committed to providing jet fuel that meets international standards together with a broad range of products for customers in the aviation industry. Collaborating with BAFS to establish GAA will improve Thailand's competitiveness and economic growth, and increase the capacity of aircraft refueling services at U-Tapao International Airport, making it the third major international commercial airport in the country.
M.L. Nathasit Diskul, Chief Executive Officer of GAA, said that GAA is ready to play a key role in promoting the development of transportation infrastructure and advanced technology to improve Thailand's quality of life and take the country's competitiveness to the next level. Thanks to more than 30 years of experience in aviation fuel management and refueling services for aviation and energy businesses, BAFS and OR are confident in advancing GAA's capabilities, expertise and modern technology to provide efficient fuel management services to aircraft at U-Tapao International Airport along with the promotion of 'open access' fuel trading system whereby every oil companies could gain access to GAA facilities, as well as the hydrant pipeline network under the airport parking area. More importantly, all operation processes will be in accordance with internationally recognized procedures and standards.
Established on 15 August 2021 to operate, manage, and provide aviation fuel service systems at U-Tapao International Airport and other related businesses, GAA has a registration capital of 600 million baht, with BAFS and OR holding 55% and 45%, respectively. The initial investment of the state property lease contract project is around 2,300 million baht. GAA will increase the capacity of U-Tapao International Airport's aviation fuel service system to accommodate 60 million passengers per year with consistent aircraft refueling services to support the airport's commercial operations date (COD) in 2024, together with the EEC's growth based on the government's national development policy.
Source: PTT Oil and Retail Business