Not only did two Japanese companies provide the state-of-the-art tunnel boring technologies for the 44.6km-long tunnel – deemed South-East Asia’s longest water tunnel – Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) topped it up with soft loans worth ¥82bil (RM3bil) payable over 40 years for the project.
“I thank the Japanese government. Japanese technology helped us through JICA and its funding as well in order to do this with local construction companies. Now, we are bringing water across and this is a good working relationship between Japan and Malaysia as far as the water industry is concerned,” Dr Xavier said in conjunction with the official handing over of the operation of the Stream B of the Langat 2 water treatment plant in Hulu Langat on Tuesday.
The Federal Government has allocated RM4.2bil for the construction of the Langat 2 plant that will be able to supply 1,130 million litres per day (MLD) to nearly two million people in the Klang Valley upon its full completion in 2023.
The Stream B that was completed recently is ready to supply 565 MLD to almost 900,000 people in Hulu Langat, Cheras, Bangi, Semenyih and Pudu areas.
Dr Xavier said with the successful completion of the tunnel, his ministry is now planning similar projects in other areas especially in bringing water from a distance.
He said Japan had also offered to send 10 to 15 Malaysian officers to Japan to learn how they manage their underground water systems in line with Malaysia’s own plans to tap underground water.
Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia, Hiroshi Oka, who was also present at the handing over ceremony, congratulated the government and people of Malaysia for the completion of the project.
“The significance of the project is better understood when you bring raw water from Pahang state to the Langat 2 plant. In cooperation with the Malaysian government, the Japanese government with the support of JICA constructed firstly a dam and also the very long water tunnel to this Langat 2 plant.
“Actually, this water tunnel is the longest in Asean countries. In that sense, this is very remarkable and we are happy to be part of this project,” Oka added.
Meanwhile, JICA Chief Representative in Malaysia Fukawa Kensuke said the project symbolised Japan’s pursuit of implementing quality infrastructure projects to improve the lives of Malaysians in all fields.
Two Japanese companies – Nakajima and Nishimatsu – were involved in the tunnel construction while another company, Hazama, in the treatment plant.
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