Some 1,000 subcontractors vie for RM55bil ECRL work packages

Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Darwis Abdul Razak. MRL is the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project owner.

KUALA LUMPUR: Some 1,000 engineering and construction firms in Malaysia are competing for civil works packages under the 688km East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project to link the east coast states with the Klang Valley.

Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL), the ECRL project owner, said in a statement that the ECRL pre-qualification (Pre-Q) exercise attracted a total of 1,118 submissions during its Oct 15-23 roadshow covering involved Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Selangor.

The applicants must be experienced local subcontractors that possess CIDB Grade G3-G7 with a minimum two-star SCORE rating.

MRL chief executive officer Darwis Abdul Razak said the impressive number of submissions in the Pre-Q exercise signalled the local construction industry’s level of confidence in the ECRL project.

He noted that CIDB Grade G7 companies that could tender for construction projects with unlimited contract value represented the biggest group on the list.

“The enthusiasm shown by Malaysian contractors during the recent roadshow is further endorsement to the high-impact ECRL project. We are optimistic that their firm support would facilitate the effective implementation of civil works for the rail alignment that stretches from Kota Baru to Port Klang,” he said in a statement.

Project owner MRL is a special-purpose vehicle wholly-owned by the Minister of Finance Inc. China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC) is the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) contractor.

According to Darwis, the Pre-Q exercise initiated by CCCC registered 625 submissions from contractors in the East Coast states, with 180 from Kelantan, 245 from Terengganu, and the balance 200 in Pahang. 

Selangor itself received the highest number of submissions for the “infrarakyat” project at 493.

He said CCCC, as the main contractor, would shortlist the qualified subcontractors from the Pre-Q exercise to tender for the infrastructure work packages in the ECRL project.

The process is expected take a few months to complete as full-scale earthworks starts in early 2018.

“MRL trusts the potential companies to be shortlisted for tender would endeavour to participate in this RM55bil rail project, and that together we can fully deliver the ECRL project ahead of the 2024 deadline,” Darwis said.

On the progress of the ECRL project, he said MRL was actively involved in the land acquisition processes in the East Coast states, and had begun soil investigation as well as set up base camps on multiple sites in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang.

A host of work packages such as earthworks, formation works, drainage works, foundation works, building works and tunneling is being subcontracted by CCCC to Malaysian contractors in line with the Government’s commitment for local players to tap the ECRL project.

As per the Pre-Q notice for the ECRL project, successful applicants in the exercise would be notified to proceed in the subsequent stages leading to the tender submission.

MRL said preference would be given to the respective states’ registered contractors shortlisted to submit competitive tenders.
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