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Sunday December 19, 2010

RM36b MRT project to be broken down to nine parcels for open tender

KUALA LUMPUR: The RM36bil Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project, the country’s largest ever infrastructure project, will belong to the Government to ensure that it is completed on time. It will also be built at the lowest possible cost by ensuring complete transparency throughout the project.

In announcing that the Cabinet finally gave its approval on Friday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the project would not be privatised.

It would instead be owned by Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd which already manages the city’s two Light Rail Transit (LRT) lines and the bus services for here and Penang.

The Cabinet also decided that the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) would supervise the project, said Najib.

He said MMC-Gamuda JV Sdn Bhd was appointed as the Project Delivery Partner to manage the project but the company, its associates and subsidiaries would not be allowed to tender for any of the nine parcels of the project except for the tunnelling works.

They would be paid a fee for managing the project with the added responsibility of having to deliver the project within an agreed time and cost.

Stressing that MMC-Gamuda Joint Venture is not a turn-key contractor, the Prime Minister said the project would be divided into work packages which would be awarded individually through open tender.

Even for the tunnelling works, MMC-Gamuda JV would have to make a bid and the job would be awarded to the most competitive one.

Najib said the Government felt that the company should be allowed to tender for the tunnelling works because it is the only local construction company with such experience, citing as examples their work in the SMART Tunnel and the Kaohsiung MRT in Taiwan.

The tunnel for the MRT line here is estimated to be about 10km.

The MRT will generate 130,000 jobs during its construction.

It is also expected to generate a gross national income of between RM3bil and RM4bil per annum from 2011 to 2020 from direct construction and operations and another RM8bil and RM12bil as a result of its multiplier impact.

“Total cost of the project is still being discussed in detail,” Najib said at a press conference yesterday.

The cost of the project was estimated at RM36bil (by MMC-Gamuda Joint Venture Sdn Bhd) last year but the exact cost would depend on open tender contracts offered, overall price increase of goods as well as determined by the value management studies, he said.

Future lines have been proposed and are being studied as part of the Urban Public Transport Master Plan being drawn up by SPAD, said Najib.

The Prime Minister also announced that the construction of the first line from Sungai Buloh to Kajang, covering 60km with 35 stations, would start in July and work was expected to be completed within five or six years.

“The Government picked the Sg Buloh-Kajang line to start the MRT project as this corridor is not adequately served by rail-based public transport,” he said.

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