PETALING JAYA: The Government
is in the midst of negotiating with mass rapid transit (MRT) project
delivery partner (PDP) MMC-Gamuda JV Sdn Bhd on the fees for managing the
project, which would have to be delivered within an agreed timeframe and
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had on Saturday said that work on the
65km Sg Buloh-Kajang line would start in July next tear and was expected to
be completed in five or six years. “The fees are being negotiated,” Minister
in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala said at a
briefing in Menara Star yesterday.
The project, worth an
estimated RM36bil for the civil works alone and not inclusive of rolling
stock (trains) and land acquisition, would be the country's largest-ever
infrastructure project under the Economic Transformation Programme.
Industry observers believe that MMC-Gamuda, with their expertise in
tunneling works acquired in the SMART tunnel and the Kaoshiung MRT projects,
was likely to get the tunnelling parcel of the project worth an estimated
RM13bil to RM14bil. However, Najib said while the Government felt that the
partnership should be allowed to tender for the tunnelling works as it was
the only local construction company with such experience, MMC-Gamuda's
associates and subsidiaries would not be allowed to tender for any of the
other civil work parcels of the project.
Approximately 20% of the 65km line, especially in areas where the line
passes through Kuala Lumpur's central business district (CBD), would be
underground. Idris said the result of the tender for the project would be
made known “soon” but declined to comment on anything more specific.
AmResearch Sdn Bhd analyst Mak Hoy Ken said in a Dec 20 report that
MMC-Gamuda would likely still have the first right of refusal to match any
competing bids under a “Swiss Challenge”, especially if the Government
opened up the tunnelling package to foreign parties. An OSK Research report
said the partnership stood a strong chance in bagging the tunnelling works
due to track record but might relinquish the PDP role for this aspect of the
project to avoid any conflict of interest.
Idris said the Government had decided to use the PDP route in managing the
MRT project when confronted with three options the others are turnkey and
project management consultant (PMC) as the PDP route meant the project would
be able to start almost immediately. “The Government's view is that if the
MRT project is not sorted out soon, then there'll be problems as by 2020
Kuala Lumpur will be totally gridlocked,” he pointed out.
Idris said the turnkey option was not flexible and might prove costly in the
long run while the PMC option meant waiting at least five years before the
project could start as local players built up their competencies. He said
the PDP option was being used in the London crossrail, London 2012 Olympics,
the New Doha International Airport, and the Korea highspeed rail projects.
Idris said the other MRT lines to Klang and circling the CBD were still
under study. “As we see it today, the line to Klang is important because the
congestion is very heavy at peak hours,” Idris added.
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