A 165bn baht programme for expansion of Bangkok’s metro network has been approved by the government of Thailand. The latest package calls for construction of five routes totalling 118?km. The government’s final decision comes after the Cabinet gave its backing to the scheme at a meeting in November (RG 12.06 p768). After a protracted period of negotiation and public consultation, the bidding process for construction contracts is scheduled to begin in April using a PPP model. The government has already approached the Japan Bank for International Co-operation to provide funding assistance towards three projects costing around 130bn baht: the 23 km Purple Line from Bang Sue to Bang Yai, the 41?km Red Line from Rangsit to Taling Chan via Bang Sue, and the extensions of the existing Blue Line from Bang Sue to Tha Phra and Hua Lamphong to Bang Khae, totalling 27 km. According to the government, the first construction works are expected to begin in October 2007 on the Red Line from Bang Sue to Taling Chan, followed in December by the Purple Line, which was previously envisaged as the first to start. Further work may be required on the proposals for the Blue Line, as concerns have been raised over the impact of building a metro through the historic Rattanakosin Island area. ? A 67bn baht restructuring plan has been agreed for the Bangkok Skytrain operator Bangkok Mass Transit System Co, although the refinancing was opposed by seven of BTSC’s major creditors. The Central Bankruptcy Court of Bangkok approved the plan after it was backed by 57?2% of creditors with voting rights, including Deutsche Bank, the largest foreign creditor.