Work on ECRL expected to resume next month

PUTRAJAYA: Construction works on the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) can resume as early as next month, said project owner Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL).

The suspension on the project has been lifted following the signing of a supplementary agreement bet­ween MRL and China Commu­ni­cations Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) in Beijing last week, said MRL chief executive officer Datuk Seri Darwis Abdul Razak.

“When we signed the supplementary agreement on April 12, the suspension was lifted, so we are now in the process of planning and mobilising all resources.

“Construction will commence as soon as possible, subject to the approval of the relevant authorities. We are looking at the May window,” said Darwis.

He was speaking to reporters after a press conference by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Moha­mad at Perdana Putra here to announce the resumption of the ECRL project.

It was suspended on July 3 last year as part of the new Pakatan Ha­rapan government’s pledge to review mega projects by the previous Barisan Nasional administration.

After nine months of negotiation with China, Malaysia was able to reduce the project cost from RM66bil to RM44bil.

In his announcement, Dr Mahathir also revealed that CCCC would be jointly involved in the operation and maintenance of the ECRL together with MRL, under the new agreement.

A 50-50 joint-venture company would be set up for this.

Darwis said under the joint venture, both MRL and CCCC would share the burden if there was a loss.

However, if there is profit, MRL would be able to take up to 80%.

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ECRL , MRL , Darwis Abdul Razak , Mahathir , CCCC