YTL, Naza join fray for high speed rail project

A joint statement by MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd and SG HSR Pte Ltd (SG HSR) said the extension would not affect the Dec 31, 2026 date for the HSR Express Service to begin service.

PETALING JAYA: Two more joint ventures involving local companies have joined the fray to bid for the job of Project Development Partner (PDP) to oversee the civil works portion in the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project. 

Sources say that YTL group has teamed up with SIPP group to bid for the job of PDP while the other joint venture that has thrown in its hat is between Naza Group and China Construction and Communication Company Ltd (CCCC).

At the moment there are two joint venture companies comprising established names in the construction industry that are already bidding for the PDP job of the HSR. 

They are Gamuda Bhd- Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd (MRCB) and a four party consortium comprising IJM Corp- Sunway Construction-Jalinan Rejang Sdn Bhd-Maltimur Resources Sdn Bhd.

 “At the glance, the fight for the PDP job for the civil works portion is essentially between Gamuda-MRCB and IJM-SunCon-Jalinan-Maltimur. However, there is an outside chance of YTL pulling an upset largely due to its partner’s influential presence in Johor,’ said a consultant.

SIPP group which has the backing of the Johor Palace, has bagged a few Federal Government sponsored projects in the state following its partnership with the YTL group. Among them is the RM9bil Gemas-Johor Baru double track project and a 1,440 megawatt power plant. 

The tender for the PDP job to over-see the civil works of the HSR project opened in November. It was supposed to close end of January.

However it has been extended by another two weeks until Feb 14 at the request of some of the bidders and changes to the scope of work.

 “The extension was given to allow more time for the prospective bidders to team up with international consulting firms that are specialised in high speed railway projects,” said a source. 

Industry executives said that the extension of the closing date by two weeks indicates that the government wanted to see all parties have ample time to put in their best bid.

The HSR is the most prestigious infrastructure project for the government. The civil works portion itself is estimated at RM35bil and the PDP gets as much as 5% in fees if it is able to ensure that the job is done within the timefram and within cost.

Among the criteria for prospective bidders is that they must have managed projects as a PDP,  railway related works experience and high speed rail expertise. With regards to the high speed rail expertise, the companies can team up with a foreign consultant. 

Towards this end, it is learnt that Gamuda-MRCB is said to have roped in Systra of France as its railway specialist consultant. 

Systra is well-known in the field of high speed rail works and is also one of the civil reference design consultant for MyHSR Corp to guide them on the high speed rail works between Bandar Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur up to the Selangor-Negri Sembilan border.

The IJM-Suncon-Maltimur-Jalinan consortium has teamed with Italfeer of Italy, which also has a strong technical record in high speed rail. Italfeer is a consultant to many high speed rail jobs in and outside Italy, including Eastern Europe.

YTL-SIPP is believed to have teamed up with AECOM, which like Systra is one of the civil reference design consultant employed by MyHSR. 

AECOM’s work for MyHSR is to provide its advice for the civil design works for the stretch between Iskandar Puteri Station in Johor up to the border between Malaysia and Singapore. 

However, the high speed rail specialist for the Naza-CCCC consortium is not known.

The Gamuda-MRCB joint venture and the IJM-SunCon-Maltimur-Jalinan consortium have the necessary track record as PDP as they have undertaken large jobs.

Gamuda-MRCB have undertaken the PDP jobs for Mass Rapid Transit and Light Rail Transit projects. 

As for IJM and SunCon, both are strong contractors and complemented by Maltimur Resources and Jalinan Rejang which were the PDP for the Pan-Borneo highway.

YTL-SIPP and Naza-CCCC are not known to have a track record on undertaking works as PDP. However YTL is undertaking the Gemas-Johor Baru double track job.

As for the Naza Group, it put in a bid for the job of PDP in the LRT 3 line between Bandar Utama, Damansara to Klang. 

It lost out to the joint venture of George Kent Bhd and MRCB. However, its partner CCCC is the prime mover for the RM54bil East Coast Rail Link project.
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