Ireka eyes road projects abroad


BY HANIM ADNAN

CONSTRUCTION group, Ireka Corp Bhd is eyeing an elevated frontage road project in Thailand estimated at RM200mil and a highway project in India. 

Ireka chairman Abdullah Yusof said pre-qualification bids had been submitted to the relevant parties and the group was now waiting for the release of the respective tenders. 

The elevated frontage road in Thailand is a project financed by the Asian Development Bank while the highway development in India was for the National Highway Authority of India, he told reporters after Ireka's EGM in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. 

Abdullah described the group's overseas venture as part of the move to boost its order book and boost Ireka's reputation as an international construction industry player. 

Its maiden overseas venture – the construction of the RM40mil Brunei Embassy in Beijing – has given the group a strong foothold in the construction market in China, especially for the jobs related to the Olympics to be held in 2008. 

Currently, Ireka's order book stands at RM1.1bil.  

“To date, we have outstanding works worth RM600mil to RM700mil which are expected to be completed over the next two years,” Abdullah said. 

The group's ongoing projects include two government buildings in Putrajaya, pavement work at the East Coast Highway, the administration and training centre for RHB Bank Bhd and refurbishment of the American International Assurance (AIA) head office in Jalan Ampang. 

Ireka managing director Lai Siew Wah said the group's priority on the local front would be the completion of its RM360mil hotel, The Westin Kuala Lumpur in Bukit Bintang, which is due for operation by end-June. 

He said while construction was Ireka's core business, the group was also beefing up its residential projects in prime locations, mainly in Klang Valley and Sabah. 

Despite the group's small landbank, mostly located in prime locations such as 18 acres in Mont' Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, 26 acres in Luyang, Kota Kinabalu, and 20 acres in Kajang, Selangor. 

“We are focusing on creating a strong brand name for our property projects,” Lai said, adding that Ireka's first major residential development, i-ZEN@Kiara II – a 35-storey serviced residence comprising 238 units at Mont’ Kiara – had attracted commendable sales. 

Ireka also plans to launch the phase 1 of i-ZEN@courtyard homes as well as the residential units in the first gated residential development in Luyang, Sabah.  

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