KUALA LUMPUR: China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), the contractor for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), is disappointed that the government has suspended all work on the project.
The company, in a statement today, said it had no choice but to comply with the order.
“While the duration of the suspension has not been specified, we are concerned about incurring additional cost, losses and damages arising from the suspension,” it said in the statement.
“We are upset and concerned about the livelihood of our 2,250 local staff, as well as several hundred sub-contractors, suppliers and consultancy firms,” it added.
Earlier today, Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd had notified CCCC to suspend work on the 688.3-km railway project on the grounds of national interest.
The suspension came a day after the Finance Ministry disclosed that the final cost of the ECRL project is RM81bil and that CCCC needs to cut the construction cost significantly to make it viable financially.
The ECRL project was first approved by the Government on Oct 21, 2016 while the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning agreement was signed with CCCC on Nov 1, 2016.
The original project scope was to build a rail line from the integrated transport terminal in Gombak, Selangor to Wakaf Bharu in Kelantan at a cost of RM46bil.
On May 13, last year the previous administration signed an additional agreement with CCCC to carry out Phase 2 of the project to extend the line from ITT Gombak to Port Klang for RM9bil.
Earlier on May 3, 2017 the Cabinet approved the northern extension of the project from Wakaf Bharu to Pengkalan Kubor in Kelantan, for RM1.28bil. Subsequently on Aug 23, the Cabinet further approved the upgrading of the ECRL to a double-tracking project at an additional cost o RM10.5bil.
The total construction cost of the project now stood at RM66.78bil.
However, the total cost of ECRL will be RM80.92bil after taking into account land acquisition, interest, fees and other operational cost.