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Friday August 19, 2011

MRT Co takes over project from Prasarana

PETALING JAYA: The Government has set up a company called MRT Co that will become the new project and asset owner of the multi-billion ringgit Klang Valley MY Rapid Transit (KVMRT) project.

MRT Co will be a unit of the Ministry of Finance and will take charge from Sept 1.

The move, effectively signals an about-turn by the Government that had earlier this year appointed Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd as the project and asset owner of the KVMRT.

The Government also said it would appoint a Malaysian as the chief executive officer of the MRT Co.

“The Government is fully committed to the timely and cost-effective delivery of the Klang Valley MRT project, which will have tremendous spillover economic benefits,” Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said in a statement.

“In handling a project of this size and complexity, undivided focus and clarity in terms of project governance is of utmost priority.

“Ideally, as we have heard from the public many times, having an efficient transport system in the Klang Valley is extremely critical.

“The Cabinet felt that it was necessary to have a dedicated unit focused solely on ensuring that our country's biggest ever infrastructure is implemented with undivided attention to detail, smoothly and effectively, while maintaining transparent governance throughout the process,” he added.

MRT Co's immediate priority will be to focus on the implementation of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang line, the press statement added.

MRT Co's project management and technical team will be led by Marcus Levon Karakashian, who had been involved in the implementation of Singapore's MRT and London's Jubilee Line extension.

MRT Co will also include expertise seconded from the current Prasarana MRT team.

Upon completion of the project, the operator of the KVMRT will be RapidKL, a subsidiary of Prasarana.

“As such Prasarana will continue to play a critical role in the project.

“Its input and feedback during the construction phases will be beneficial to the eventual operations of the KVMRT,” the statement said.

The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) will remain as the supervising agency of the MRT project while MMC-Gamuda will continue to play its role as the project delivery partner.

It has been reported that Prasarana, in playing its role as the project owner of the MRT, had recently shortlisted 28 individual and joint-venture (JV) companies that are eligible to bid for various elevated civil works, stations and depot packages under the KVMRT project.

The pre-qualification exercise attracted a strong response, with 286 companies purchasing the tender document and 195 companies submitting their applications.

It is understood that another vehicle will be set up by the Ministry of Finance to raise the funds required for the KVMRT and other infrastructure projects in the country.

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