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Saturday March 3, 2012

MRT developer engages project delivery partner

IN ORDER to ensure that the delivery of the Klang Valley MY Rapid Transit (KVMRT) is on time, a Project Delivery Partner (PDP) has been brought on board to work closely with the government.

This will the first time the PDP model is applied here with the appointment of MMC-Gamuda Sdn Bhd. Its role and responsibility is to encapsulate the engineering design, procurement and system work.

The PDP concept will enable the MRT project to be rolled out efficiently in phases, attending to the delivery obligations and ensuring performance of all other contractors.

Projects such as Crossrail (Europe’s largest construction project) and London Olympic Park are successful testaments of the efficiency and effectiveness of having a PDP on board.

Gittoes: The key words are ‘delivery’ and ‘partner’ to ensure the project benefited the people.

Crossrail’s PDP was responsible for procuring design, construction and railway systems, meeting the requirements defined by Crossrail Ltd. All contracts with designers, contractors and system suppliers were entered by Crossrail Ltd with the PDP as project managers. The PDP contracts included performance measures and incentives to deliver on time.

The man behind this huge task here is PDP engineering director Glenn Gittoes, who has 39 years of building railways to this credit including the Crossrail, Baltimore Metro, Bangkok MRT, Copenhagen Metro, Hong Kong MTR, the Kuala Lumpur LRT Line 2 and Singapore MRT.

Gittoes said the key words were “delivery” and “partner” to ensure the project benefited the people.

He said by partnering with MRT Corp they would complement each other, ensuring accountability and responsibility in terms of technical skills, experience and resources.

MRT Corp is in charge and sets the strategy and requirements the PDP must deliver.

“It is not an easy contract because we will be working on time and budget, so we have to maximise Malaysia’s involvement. There are 11 system contracts with 90 packages altogether,” Gittoes said.

Under way: Construction progress for the Cochrane MRT Station.

“We don’t want a duplication of roles like with Crossrail, which led to slow decision-making and inefficiency. Our incentive is to succeed with more responsibility and we have penalties here.

“We know how to get to the end on time from experience as what has been processed will be implemented to reduce risk and control cost. For us this is a better partnership and we are excited about seeing results, otherwise we wouldn’t do it,” he said.

He added that an independent checking engineer (ICE) appointed by MRT Corp would be providing independent reviews at key stages of the project.

Speaking more about the socio- economic impact of the MRT, Gittoes said Malaysia was experiencing 5% to 6% growth with the quality of life going up.

“But people cannot keep buying cars nor can more highways be built. Kuala Lumpur’s people are comfortable using cars but the transition to public transportation will happen because no one wants to spend their weekends stuck in a traffic jam.

“The social side of it will gradually change because the stations will spur development. Good planning such as having stops at shopping malls will increase ridership. We will have more usage at the same cost.

“We do expect a lot of people to drop off as well as park and ride. Buses need to feed in and increase their frequency. At the end, you will see the environmental benefit with the same amount of energy used carrying more people around,” he said.

He added that projects like this were not financially covered by the cost fare but its economical aspect would be worth the money.

The Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line is 51km long with seven underground stations.

The first half of the alignment is scheduled to open by the end of 2016, while the second half including all underground stations by mid-2017.


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