RM50mil more to finish highway

  • Business
  • Thursday, 15 May 2003


CONSTRUCTION group MTD Capital Bhd is forking out RM50mil from internal funds to ensure completion of the long-delayed Package 2 of Malaysia's second East-West Highway project by year's end. 

Managing director Datuk Azmil Khalid told StarBiz the group was determined to complete the 36km link between Pos Selim, Perak, and Kampung Raja, Pahang. The RM282mil turnkey contract was awarded to MTD Capital subsidiary MTD Construction Sdn Bhd in 1997. 

Azmil also expressed confidence that the project would be completed “without jeopardising shareholders' value, despite the challenges and high cost MTD Capital has to bear”. 

“Shareholders need not be concerned about the RM50mil cost overrun as MTD Capital will entirely bear the expenses, and it will not result in a drop in share value,” he said. 

MTD Capital had made provisions and factored in the impact, he said, adding that the group had been one of few companies to have paid healthy dividends to shareholders in past years. 

Construction of Package 2 was 95% completed, Azmil said, explaining that the delay was due to safety concerns. 

He added that final remedial works to prevent future land and rock slides on a 3km stretch on a steep slope – which is two-thirds the height of Petronas Twin Towers – was still going on. 

Azmil said: “This little setback is of great concern to us because delays in projects are not good for a construction company. Other contractors would have abandoned the project at this stage, but we believe leaving will not solve the problem. 

“MTD Capital is a dedicated construction company, and is determined to complete the highway, which the group considers a challenge it has to assume.” 

In addition to environmental challenges, he said, MTD Capital was also faced with some 300 motorists trespassing daily. Their presence at the worksite forces the company's workers to slow down the remedial work to ensure public safety. 

“We would like to ask the public to avoid using the uncompleted highway to ensure their safety,” Azmil pleaded. “If a mishap does happen, the Department of Health and Safety will immediately stop our operations indefinitely; and this will mean a further delay in the completion of the project.” 

However, MTD Capital's previous record on other projects strongly reflects the company's ability to complete a project on time. 

MTD Capital's order book includes mega projects like Phases 1 and 2 of the East Coast Expressway, valued at RM1.3bil each, as well as the upgrading of a highway in India worth RM220mil. 

MTD Capital is also a member of the Malaysia-China Hydro Consortium, which was awarded the RM1.85bil Bakun dam project. 

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