Construction of the Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit (LRT) project is expected to start by the end of next year if all goes as planned.
Penang infrastructure and transport committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said eight submissions were received from local and international consortiums for the project’s pre-qualification exercise conducted from July 25 to Aug 19.
“Forty-five companies registered interest and purchased the pre-qualification documents. Eight companies made submissions before the Oct 7 deadline,” said Zairil in a statement.
“The exercise was to identify and pre-qualify suitable contractors to participate in the request for proposal (RFP) tender process for the engineering, procurement, construction, testing and commissioning of the LRT’s viaducts, stations, depot, system and other associated works, as well as the funding, operation and maintenance of the LRT system.
“For the pre-qualification stage, companies were required to submit their company profiles, details of their key personnel, past and current projects, contractual relationship of members in their respective consortiums or joint ventures, financial information, funding model, proposed implementation plan and other supporting documents.”
He said an evaluation of the submissions was being carried out by technical and financial committees which will report to the tender committee, followed by the procurement committee.
“The committees will identify qualified entities to be formally invited to participate in the RFP exercise.
“The RFP tender is expected to open early next year,” he said.
Zairil said qualified entities would be given four months to prepare their RFP proposals for submission.
Thereafter, the evaluation of the received proposals is expected to take three months, after which a report will be prepared for the tender and procurement committees for the final decision.
“The construction of the LRT is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of next year, subject to the federal authorities’ approval of the last segment of the LRT line involving the location of the LRT depot on the reclaimed Penang South Islands,” he said.
On feedback for the project, Zairil said 98% out of 1,012 respondents expressed support for the project and were eager for the LRT to be implemented soon, based on surveys conducted during the Penang Transport Master Plan roadshows held in various locations since May.
“It is important for the LRT to be an efficient and financially sustainable project.
“Despite various obstacles, Penang is determined to push ahead to deliver the LRT as a reliable public transport system for the people of Penang,” he added.