Lower ECRL cost due to renegotiated contracts in 2019 and 2022, says Transport Ministry

PETALING JAYA: The lower construction cost of the East Coast Rail Link Project (ECRL) 3.0 was achieved through a series of contract renegotiations that were finalised in 2019 and 2022, says the Transport Ministry.

In a statement on Thursday (Dec 22), the ministry explained that among the factors that contributed to the reduction of the overall construction cost were the comprehensive implementation of value engineering (VM) and the realignment of the ECRL track on Section C (Temerloh Serendah-Klang Port).

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"The total development cost (TDC) for ECRL 1.0 amounts to RM85.97bil, including construction costs of RM66.78bil and other costs such as interest during construction (IDC), land acquisition, transfer of utilities and continuity fees and operating expenses amounting to RM19.19bil.

"In comparison, the TDC for ECRL 3.0, which is currently under construction, is estimated at RM74.96bil, consisting of the much lower construction cost of RM50.27bil while other development costs such as IDC, land acquisition, transfer of utilities and continuity fees and expenses managed amounted to RM24.69bil.

"Thus, the TDC difference between ECRL 1.0 and ECRL 3.0 results in savings of RM11.01bil for the ECRL project as stated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim," read the statement.

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On Wednesday (Dec 21), Anwar said that the ECRL project will proceed at a reduced overall cost of RM74.96bil, compared with the original cost of RM85.97bil approved in 2016.

The Transport Ministry explained that the savings of RM11.01bil for the ECRL is a comparison of the TDC between the ECRL project launched in 2017 (ECRL 1.0) and the ECRL project currently underway (ECRL 3.0).

"At a construction cost of RM50.27bil, Malaysians can now enjoy the ECRL project which has increased the value of passenger and cargo services, which is the construction of a 665km rail line from Kota Baru to Port Klang, the construction of 20 stations, the construction of the Serendah Bypass which facilitates the movement of cargo from north as well as the rail extension from Jalan Kastam Station to both Westport and Northport terminals."

ECRL is a 640km-long railway link connecting states in the east and west coasts of Peninsular Malaysia, which will dramatically reduce travel time between the two regions.

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