Double-track rail project to resume

PETALING JAYA: Phase two of the project to rehabilitate the double-track railway lines around the Klang Valley is expected to resume soon at a lower price, with the contract to be re-awarded to the original contractors.

No competitive tender was called for the project, sources said.

According to sources, Dhaya Maju Infrastructure (Asia) Sdn Bhd (DMIA) and its partner Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) have secured the job at a cost slightly above RM3bil.

Sources said the second phase of the Klang Valley Double Track (KVDT) could cost just above RM3bil, which is substantially lower than the original price tag of RM5.9bil.

The update on the project is expected to be given by Transport Minister Anthony Loke in Parliament today.

He, however, kept mum on the details when asked by reporters at the inaugural Women in Rail Malaysia Leadership Conference 2019 “Together Towards Tomorrow”.

The contract for the second phase of the KVDT was awarded by the previous administration to DMIA Engineering in partnership with LTAT in April last year. The contract, however, was terminated when Pakatan Harapan took over the government after the election in September after a review.

Following that, DMIA and LTAT submitted a new proposal to the government in a bid to win back the KVDT Phase 2 (KVDT2) contract.

Last year, Loke was quoted as saying that the KVDT2 contract was given out through direct negotiations. He had said that the ministry would conduct an open tender for the project.

He had said that the original price tag was “too high”, as there were no new buildings or stations involved. He also questioned the completion period of the original contract that would take seven years to complete.

While no payment has been made to the contractor since the award last year, Loke said that about 3% of the works at KVDT2 has been carried out.

The second phase of the KVDT project involves the rehabilitation of two KTM Bhd railway tracks - one from Salak South to Seremban and the other from a point between Kuala Lumpur Sentral and Angkasapuri to Port Klang - measuring a total of 110km.

The entire project involves infrastructure and system upgrades to ensure safe, reliable and comfortable train services.

The first phase of the rehabilitation project covers the upgrading of systems work between Rawang and Seremban, and from Sentul to Port Klang, involving about 150km at a cost of RM1.3bil awarded to DMIA. It was awarded in 2016.

It was reported that the project had reached a 75% completion rate in April. The project is supposed to be completed by the end of this year.

Assuming a cost of RM3bil, the cost of the second phase of the project works out to about RM27mil per km as opposed to RM53mil per km based on the previous price tag of about RM5.9bil.

According to Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB), the second phase of the KVDT is much needed, considering that the current track network is unsustainable.

Separately, yesterday, Loke announced that the newly revived East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project may be celebrated in a relaunch ceremony on July 25.

He said Malaysian companies are also set to play a larger role, as they would take on 40% of the project’s civil works.

The ECRL was put on hold for several months from July 2018 as terms of its construction were being renegotiated.

The project was revived in April after Malaysian Rail Link Sdn Bhd and China Communications Construction Company Ltd signed a supplementary agreement in Beijing.

Under the new deal, the project’s development cost was brought down from RM66bil to RM44bil and the previous 688km line was also shortened by 40km.

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