Fate of Penang Undersea Tunnel project depends on steering committee recommendations

GEORGE TOWN: The state government will wait for its steering committee recommendations before deciding on the fate of its undersea tunnel project.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said a decision on the proposed 7.2km Penang Undersea Tunnel project has yet to be made.

"We are waiting on recommendations from the state steering committee for the project, led by State infrastructure, transport and digital committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari.

"The Penang Port Commission (PCC) had just briefed the state executive council on its 30-year PPC Development Master Plan (2023-2053).

"Based on their presentation, the North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT)’s expansion plans would affect the proposed Penang undersea tunnel project,” said Chow.

He added that they have waited for PPC to finalise and approve its 30-year development master plan for over a year, and now they would wait for the recommendations on whether the tunnel alignment will be changed or relocated.

“This is vital as we are talking about Penang’s future development,” he said in a press conference at his office in Komtar on Thursday (April 18).

Chow said the feasibility study for the undersea tunnel could not be finalised as it was pending the completion and approval of the PPC development master plan.

It was reported that Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) chief executive officer Datuk Sasedharan Vasudevan said that expansion plans for the NBCT would proceed.

He said RM250mil would be spent over the next three years.

The tunnel project, first proposed in 2011, links Gurney Drive on the island with Bagan Ajam on the mainland.

The project is part of the Penang Transport Master Plan to ease traffic congestion in the state.

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