KUCHING: Hock Seng Lee Bhd (HSL) is hopeful of winning more construction jobs as the Sarawak government has approved huge allocation in 2020 state budget to accelerate infrastructure development statewide.
Next year’s state allocations include about RM1.53bil for the Sarawak Second Trunk Road project, RM1.17bil for Sarawak Coastal Road project and RM1.15bil for projects (mostly roads and bridges) under Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda).
Together with these infrastructure developments, the state government has set aside a total of nearly RM13.4bil in 2020 to fund high impact projects to speed up the pace of rural development. Most of these projects involve road and bridges as well as provision of water and electricity supplies, housing and social amenities.
“The Sarawak Budget for 2020 provides a substantial allocation on infrastructure development that will offer new contract opportunities for the HSL group.
“As the Sarawak government continues to roll out infrastructure projects, such as the Sarawak coastal road, second trunk road as well as water works, the group is positive that it will be able to participate and benefit from the effects of vibrant development across the state and construction industry, ” said HSL managing director Datuk Paul Yu Chee Hoe.
He said these mega infrastructure projects are all on the company’s radar as they draw on HSL’s strength in geo-technical and marine engineering.
According to Yu, the group’s marine engineering expertise and large fleet of specialised equipment put HSL in strategic positions to undertake more infrastructure projects in the state.
The first work package under the Sarawak Second Trunk Road is expected to be awarded early 2020. The second trunk road provides an alternative shorter route to the main trunk road, coastal highway and Pan Borneo highway currently under advanced construction.
In April 2019, HSL won the Batang Paloh bridge project for RM298.98mil. The proposed bridge is one of the nine major bridges to be built across rivers under the Sarawak coastal road project. Several of these bridge projects are now under construction and the balance are expected to be awarded soon.
The leading construction firm secured another RM104.5mil contract in August for the construction of another major road – Jalan Bidut/Kpg Tutut/Kpg Sededil/Kpg Bungan Kecil in Sibu Division.
The third major contract secured by HSL this year is construction of offices for Balingian coal-fired power plant worth RM54.3mil.
HSL, which is also undertaking a RM1.6bil worth of work package for the Pan Borneo Highway project with joint-venture partner Dhaya Maju Infrastructure (Asia) Sdn Bhd, has in hand RM3.4bil worth of order book, out of which RM2.5bil is unbilled.
“With these on-going projects, we are certain that we will be kept busy on work execution as our mega projects are progressing well into their mid-phases, ” said Yu after the company released its latest quarterly results.
In third quarter ended Sept 30,2019 (3Q2019), HSL posted group net profit of RM16.4mil on revenue of RM173.8mil which compared favourably with RM14.3mil and RM173.3mil respectively in 3Q2018.
The group’s other major on-going projects include the centralised sewerage works (tunneling) projects in Kuching (phase 2 with contract value of RM750mil) and Miri (RM333mil).
On the group’s property development, Yu said on-going projects are worth more than RM300mil, and the segment contributed about 14% to group revenue in 3Q2019.
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