KUCHING: Sarawak Consolidated Industries Bhd (SCIB), which supplied industrialised building system (IBS) products for the reconstruction and extension projects of nine dilapidated schools last year, is eyeing more of such projects.
General manager Chai Tze Khang said the company was working closely with the consultants and had submitted its designs for the proposed extension projects of seven more schools.
“Our IBS is proven and the Education Ministry is quite happy with it. We expect more (purchase orders) to come in as the federal government has allocated funds for more projects,” he told StarBiz.
Late last month, Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the Finance Ministry had approved RM1bil to fund the reconstruction of 400 dilapidated schools using the IBS in Sarawak. Half of the allocation is expected to be utilised this year and the other 50% in 2019.
He said that under phase one, 180 schools in Sarawak would be reconstructed and that the projects would be managed by his ministry and the Education Ministry.
According to Fadillah, about 30% of the projects would be handled by the Public Works Department (PWD), adding that the Sarawak PWD had been instructed to recommend contractors and IBS manufacturers for the projects.
He expects contractors to be appointed by end of this month for the projects in 48 primary schools statewide to be managed by PWD. Each project is expected to be completed in three months upon awarding of contract.
The projects would involve the construction of new blocks to house six or eight classrooms for some schools while others would get new laboratories or hostels.
Chai said SCIB supplied between RM300,000 and RM400,000 worth of IBS components – such as concrete beams, columns and floor slabs – to each of the nine schools last year. The schools include those in Bau and Lundu districts in southern Sarawak, Sibu in central region and Lawas in the north.
The use of IBS, he said, would ensure quality of building materials and speed in the construction process.
“Our IBS plant has a monthly production capacity of 12,000 tonnes and the current utilisation rate is about 60%.
“Hopefully, we can achieve sales of between RM30mil and RM35mil this year in IBS products for projects in schools, new commercial buildings and jetties,” added Chai.
On SCIB’s plan to invest in an IBS plant in Sabah, he said: “We are still exploring the market there.”
SCIB has recently acquired Carlton Gardens Sdn Bhd, which is principally involved in the manufacture, supply and installation of construction building materials. The latter also owns an interlocking block IBS factory in Lumut, Sabah.
Carlton Gardens has a contract to supply and install interlocking blocks and associated structural and finishing works to a residential project under IMalaysia Housing Programme.
Besides school projects, SCIB is expecting more purchase orders for its precast concrete products like pipe culverts for the ongoing Pan Borneo Highway project as construction work progresses.
“From the purchase orders we have received so far, there is still RM44mil worth of outstanding orders to be delivered. We expects new orders for our products to come in from time to time.
“We are working with the consultants and contractors to propose a wider usage of precast concrete products for the highway project as it saves construction time,” said Chai.
The laying of pipe culverts has to be carried out first before the road is built. SCIB’s other precast concrete products include pre-stressed spun piles, reinforced concrete square piles, spun concrete pipes, reinforced concrete box culverts and pre-stressed beams.