PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd and the China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) will set up a joint venture company to participate in the operations and maintenance of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project.
Local participation in the project will also see an increase where 40% of civil works will be done by local contractors compared to 30% in the original deal.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said CCCC will provide technical support and share operational risks after the project's completion.
“This arrangement will ease the financial burden on Malaysia, which previously had to bear the entire costs of maintenance and operations,” said Dr Mahathir at a press conference Monday (April 15).
He added that Malaysia can also leverage on CCCC's expertise in operations and maintenance, which will improve the long-term liability of the project.
Dr Mahathir also announced that CCCC has agreed to refund part of the RM3.1bil advance payment paid for Phase Two, Double Tracking and the Northern Extension under the original contract.
“RM500mil will be refunded within a week from April 12 and further RM500mil within a month from April 12 for a total of RM1bil.
“The balance will be settled within three months after deductions for verified claims due to abortive works, suspension and cancellation of the Northern Extension,” he said.