He said following a cost-cutting exercise, the government has managed to shave RM8.82bil or 22.4% of the original construction cost of the line, which was RM39.35bil.
The cuts came from the conversion of the project structure from a project delivery partner model to that of a turnkey model, thus creating savings in the project delivery partner (PDP) fee.
Other savings came from cuts to the allocation of reimbursables, contingencies and provisional sums.
Savings were also achieved by slowing down construction work and downscaling of certain specifications of the project, an approach Lim described as “progressive”.
“This avoids building the line as quickly as possible to its maximum capacity, but without compromising on quality, safety and operational efficiency of the system,” he said, adding that one such example is the deferred opening of the Bandar Malaysia North and Bandar Malaysia South underground stations.
There were also outright downsizing of specifications and scope of work of electrical and mechanical systems, as well as on the amount of equipment.
For example, the number of train sets for the SSP Line has been reduced from 58 to 49 while all the stations will sport simpler architectural finishes.
“The savings will enable us to do more infrastructure work in the future,” he said after witnessing the signing of a supplemental agreement between the project delivery partner for MRT2, MMC Gamuda KVMRT (PDP SSP) Sdn Bhd, and project owner, Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp)
Also present were Transport Minister Anthony Loke, MRT Corp chief executive officer Abdul Yazid Kassim and MMC Gamuda directors Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh and Datuk Paul Ha.
The 52.2km SSP Line began construction in 2016, and it is the second MRT line after the Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line.
Asked if the revival of the Bandar Malaysia transport terminal project would see the MRT stations there be opened earlier, Lim said this would be evaluated after looking at the overall progress of the project.
“If we do it (open the station) too fast without having the volume and capacity, that will be a loss. We have to factor in demand before deciding on this,” he said.
The SSP Line is now 70% complete, with major works expected to be completed in 2022 and the line to be operational by January 2023.
Phase one of the SSP should run from the Kwasa Damansara station to the Kampung Batu station by July 2021, while phase two (of full opening) will see trains running all the way to the Putrajaya Sentral station by January 2023.
On the e-Tunai Rakyat programme, Lim refuted claims that it was an attempt by the government to obtain personal information, pointing out that there was no need to go through such lengths as personal information could be obtained from one’s identity card.
“I don’t see how this can be construed as an effort to get personal information. If there is any benefit from this exercise, it is so that we know something about consumption patterns.
“But the government doesn’t even need the information because we are not involved in business or trading. It is just us wanting to do something for the people,” he said of the programme introduced under Budget 2020 to encourage the use of cashless payments.
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