MMC Metal Industries plans to make coaches for local railway


  • Business
  • Tuesday, 14 Jan 2003

By SABRY TAHIR

MMC Engineering Bhd’s subsidiary, MMC Metal Industries Sdn Bhd (MMI), which manufactures freight wagons for KTM Bhd (KTMB), plans to produce locally-made coaches for the local railway. 

Coach construction was one of MMI's major plans for the future and it was currently ready to undertake such a project, chief executive officer Datuk Lew Chin Hoi said after the ceremonial handover of Bogie Container Flat (BCF) wagons to KTMB in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. 

“We are waiting for the green light from the government,'' he said. 

He said that the company had already submitted proposals on its plans and its ability to come up with coaches that would use local contents. 

According to Lew, most of the coaches now used by KTMB are imported and MMI is Malaysia's largest and only licensed manufacturer of railway rolling stock. 

“ We have all the technology and engineering expertise and are ready to proceed should the government award us the contract,” Lew said. 

He said that the plan was also in line with the higher demand for railway rolling stock, including coaches, in view of the increase in rolling stocks required for KTMB's proposed double-tracking third phase project. 

At yesterday's ceremony, which was witnessed by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik, MMI officially delivered to KTMB 18 BCF wagons under a contract to manufacture and supply 195 units of the freight wagons worth RM38mil.  

The delivery was made one month ahead of schedule. 

Lew said MMI achieved more than RM40mil in turnover for the year ended Jan 31, 2002, and the railway division of the company accounted for 60% to 70% of it.  

Its non-railway division also manufactures gun parts. 

Over the past 10 to 15 years, the company has completed RM180mil worth of contracts, manufacturing more than 3,000 freight bogies and 800 wagons for KTMB and other users in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. 

MMI also exports its other railway products to Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Hong Kong, Japan, Myanmar, New Zealand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and the US. 

Lew said the company was looking at the possibility of going big in exports to Myammar and Vietnam given the similarity in the systems used in those countries with that in Malaysia. 

“Both are using the British system. 

“Most of the countries in Asean use the meter gauge system and this creates a niche for us,'' Lew said.  

According to Lew, the company had exported wagons valued at about US$32mil over the past 10 years. 

MMI, which was formerly a supplier of mining equipment, currently supplies freight wagons and other railway equipment only to KTMB and Petronas. 

Lew said the company expected the local railway industry to pick up in the next five to 10 years in line with the progress of KTMB's double-tracking project. 

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