How ECRL’s RM11bil was saved

PETALING JAYA: The RM11.01bil in savings for the East Coast Rail Link Project (ECRL) project is a comparison of the total development cost between the project launched in 2017 (ECRL 1.0) and that which is currently under way (ECRL 3.0), says the Transport Ministry.

The ECRL construction cost is now RM50.27bil, it added.

This would entail the construction of a 665km rail line from Kota Baru to Port Klang with 20 stations, the Serendah Bypass which facilitates the movement of cargo from the north, as well as a rail extension from Jalan Kastam Station to both the Westport and Northport terminals, it said in a statement yesterday.

The lower construction cost, said the ministry, was achieved through a series of contract renegotiations that were finalised in 2019 and this year.

“Some factors include the comprehensive implementation of ‘Value Engineering’, and the realignment of the ECRL track on Section C (Temerloh Serendah-Klang Port) which contributed to the reduction of the overall construction cost.

“The total development cost for ECRL 1.0 was RM85.97bil, including the construction cost of RM66.78bil plus other costs such as interest during construction, land acquisition, transfer of utilities, continuity fees and operating expenses amounting to RM19.19bil.

“In comparison, the total development cost for ECRL 3.0 is estimated at RM74.96bil, consisting of the much lower construction cost of RM50.27bil while other development costs such as interest during construction, land acquisition, transfer of utilities, continuity fees and expenses managed amounts to RM24.69bil.

“The total development cost difference between ECRL 1.0 and ECRL 3.0 results in savings of RM11.01bil, as stated by the Prime Minister,” it added.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told reporters after the Cabinet meeting that the ECRL project would proceed at a reduced overall cost of RM74.96bil, compared with the original cost of RM85.97bil approved in 2016.

The ECRL is railway link that would connect states on the east and west coasts of Peninsular Malaysia and dramatically reduce travel time between the two regions.

In PUTRAJAYA, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said his ministry would not interfere in projects that had already been given letters of award and approval by previous administrations.

“We do not plan to cancel any of the ongoing projects as we recognise that they are vital projects needed for the people,” Loke added.“Only projects that have not yet been given a letter of award and approval will undergo a re-tender process.”

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