‘Pestech-IJM proposed earlier completion of project’

On hold: A passenger walks past an aerotrain in KLIA. MAHB is now looking for another partner to deliver the project.

KUALA LUMPUR: Pestech International Bhd in a revised schedule of completion for the Kuala Lumpur International Airport aerotrain project had proposed completion of the work by a consortium that includes IJM Corp Bhd and itself on a 50:50 basis.

The proposal had also called for the completion of the project three months earlier than scheduled.

According to sources, the top brass of IJM and Pestech met with the management of Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) in the first week of August with a proposal on the RM743mil aerotrain project that is due for completion by March 2025.

Under the proposal, it is learnt that Pestech would transfer its 50% interest in its wholly-owned subsidiary Pestech Technology Sdn Bhd to the joint-venture consortium in return for injection of capital and resources into the entity. Following the exercise, IJM would take the lead in managing the aerotrain project to ensure its completion if approved.

“The proposed timeline taking advantage of full closure of the current aerotrain can be completed by December 2024, which is three months earlier than the previous date of completion,” said a source with knowledge of the matter.

Pestech’s managing director Paul Lim when contacted confirmed that they had presented a revised schedule to the MAHB management together with IJM before they received a notice of termination for the project. However, he declined to comment further.

On Aug 16, Pestech received a notice of termination from MAHB for the aerotrain project that was first awarded in late December 2021. MAHB’s said its action was a result of delays of more than 220 days on the project. It has been reported that MAHB is looking at undertaking a restricted tender involving only the previous bidders for the project to take over the work.

The other bidders for the project were MMC Corp Bhd, SMH Rail Sdn Bhd, and Hartasuma Sdn Bhd.

It is learnt that in the meeting, the top brass of both Pestech and IJM had assured MAHB that the project was around 40% completed, that the delay would be two months and they were confident of “catching up” as work progressed.

As it was a project of national importance, IJM’s top brass had given an undertaking to fully back the project and would take the lead if the proposal had been approved.

“All the long lead-time items for the project including the train sets that are supplied by Alstom have been proceeding. It was based on this that the proposed Pestech-IJM consortium was confident of completing the job ahead of schedule,” added the source.

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