Penang Hill cable car project won by firm with experience in large public transport jobs

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Hill cable car project has been awarded to a homegrown pioneer in the local rail industry with an estimated investment of RM245mil.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the successful bidder, Hartasuma Sdn Bhd, has almost 30 years of experience in the full range of delivery from project management to international supply chain and logistics management, testing and commissioning protocols and project financing.

"It has successfully delivered more than 400 rail cars to some of the largest public transport projects in Kuala Lumpur including the busiest urban route in Malaysia, the Kelana Jaya Line.

"It brings a management team with operational experience in the MRT Line 1 and the highly successful Langkawi Cable Car," he said in his speech during the announcement of the award of the request for proposal (RFP) of the project held at Komtar on Wednesday (Dec 14).

Chow, the chairman of Penang Hill Corporation (PHC), said there were six applicants for the RFP.

"The evaluation committee from various government agencies assessed the proposals in accordance with the requirements stipulated in the RFP document.

"Hartasuma Sdn Bhd was recommended by the committee and approved by the state government tender board.

"It was awarded the job based on financial capacity, technical and operational capabilities, environmental protection measures and proposal at the time of bidding.

"The estimated investment by the successful bidder is expected to be approximately RM245mil and the project is based on a 30-year concession period, following the open bidding," he said.

Chow said with the new cable car in place, located in the Botanical Gardens area, Penang will gain another iconic tourist attraction in addition to the existing funicular railway that has served residents and visitors to the hill for almost 100 years.

"We hope it will help redistribute traffic particularly during the peak seasons, complementing funicular service from the Ayer Itam area," he said.

Chow said with an annual visitor count of between 1.3 million and 1.8 million, we hope the cable car will play a practical role in tourist load balancing.

In 2017, Hartasuma was awarded the job of supplying 27 new light rail transit (LRT) cars for the Kelana Jaya line with its consortium partner Alstom S A, a global leader in rolling stock manufacturing.

The project is ongoing.

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