Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij told people heard in Phuket yesterday if he can “guarantee” the convention center project building further if his Democrat Party dominated in upcoming elections. Mr. Korn spoke in front of the public at The Metropole hotel in Phuket Town that he presented three architectural plans for Phuket International Convention and Exhibition Center (ICEC) from three different firms as it selected to be candidates to design the structure.
“I expected the convention center will be finished in the early of 2014,” said Mr Korn. The triple designs pointed to a common theme: shell shaped. The first design created by KAED 103 which put tortoiseshell design. The second one held by SPAN & FED who’s creating “conch sell” design while ASD presented a pearl oyster shape for the building. The three companies explained their interior design, functional area, security system, hotel, landscape, and others. Watcharin Dumluck a man in attendance warned the design firms to take care in planning for security and safety systems for protection against natural disaster. He also said that he preferred more for a Thai or Sino-Portuguese design to what it was presented at the meeting.
The Chairman of Phuket Tourism Association Somboon Jirayut said he would consider seeing more spaces in parking lot for buses and he did not want hotel rooms at the center because there were about 60,000 rooms across Phuket and about 7,000 rooms in Khao Lak already. The number is more than enough to support visitors to the center, he said. The meeting was called Treasury Department Director General Winai Wittawatkavaret who explained the progress of the project. On October 20th 2009 the Cabinet approved the plans with a budget of 2.6 billion baht that sourced from the Thai Khem Kaeng (Strong Thailand) economic stimulus fund, said Mr. Winai. The Treasury Department itself signed contract with Management Solution International Co Ltd and ATT Co Ltd on December 24th, 2009 to create business, marketing, and investment plans.
Completing an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the department then signed a contract in the end of December 2010 with Team Consulting Engineering and Management Co Ltd, SQ Architects and Planners Co Ltd and Team and Team Energy Management Co Ltd. The three architect firms that show their plans were chosen on February 22nd this year. And a design will select before the end of this month, said Mr. Winai.
After that the construction company searching would begin on July in a hope of a contract signature for construction on September, he said. The construction put an ideal time about 900 days to finish, added him. “During this time we also need to figure out what is the best choice for transportation systems connecting the center with the airport and Phuket Town,” Finance Minister Korn added.
“It might be a monorail if the center has finished and the airport expanded with well transportation (in Phuket). The tourism standard will raised in Andaman region as it creates long-term benefit for the economy,” said him. Asked about what would happen if the Democrat failed to get victory in the elections, Mr Korn said, “I don’t know the other parties’s policies but next if we are still in government, I guarantee the project will continue.”
“If we are not leading, I think it will not canceled because everybody knows that Phuket has important role in tourism destination as tourism destination in Andaman region. In the other side the budget has already been approved so there is no good reason for the new government to cancel it,” he said. In addition about 1,000 locals attending the meeting with many Phuket VIPs like Secretary-General to the Prime Minister Anchalee Vanich Thepabutr; Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha; Phuket MPs Raewat Areerob, Tossaporn Thepabutr (Mrs Anchalee’s husband) and Chalermlak Kebsup; and Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupapana
News by Phuket Gazette