Major coup for MRCB-Gamuda, YTL-TH Properties

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on April 6, 2018.
-A +A

KUALA LUMPUR: MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd has appointed the Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd–Gamuda Bhd consortium (MRCB-Gamuda Consortium) and the Syarikat Pembenaan Yeoh Tiong Lay Sdn Bhd – TH Properties Sdn Bhd consortium (YTL-THP) as its project delivery partners (PDPs) for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high speed rail (HSR) civil works portion.

MyHSR said MRCB-Gamuda Consortium has been selected for the northern portion of the alignment, while YTL-THP has been selected for the southern portion. The contracts will be awarded upon the conclusion of negotiations between MyHSR and the PDPs.

“We are pleased to have selected two very capable consortia to work on the project,” said MyHSR chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal in a statement yesterday.

“The PDPs will bring both local and international experience, through their own experience in building railways in the country and through partnerships with HSR experts, and together, we will build the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR project,” he said.

In a separate statement, YTL Corp Bhd managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh said the group was deeply passionate about the project, having explored the concept of a HSR service to facilitate seamless travel between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore since the 1990s.

“We are excited that the project is now coming to fruition and strongly believe that it will be transformative — connecting communities in Malaysia and Singapore — whilst playing a critical role in our country’s future economic growth as a vital component of the country’s blueprint to develop world-class rail infrastructure,” said Yeoh.

Datuk Seri Johan Abdullah, CEO of Tabung Haji, which owns THP, said: “Tabung Haji’s participation in this venture would very well fit into our investment strategy that provides benefit to more than nine million depositors of the fund.”

“Tabung Haji and the YTL Group have a long-standing partnership spanning more than 20 years, having together built the Express Rail Link project that connects the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and klia2 to KL Sentral,” added Johan.

The PDP tender, called on Nov 22, 2017, opened to parties with experience in railway design and construction, familiar with Malaysian railway construction practices and regulatory requirements.

MyHSR said the tender also promoted the involvement of Malaysian firms, in line with the government’s push to encourage the growth of local industries through optimal usage of local resources and inputs.

YTL should be pleased with its appointment, considering it was the first to submit an RM8 billion proposal to the government for a HSR link between Malaysia and Singapore back in 2006, since the idea was first floated in the 1990s.

The HSR was later identified as a key project under the government’s Economic Transformation Programme in 2010. Following that, the Malaysian and Singaporean governments signed a bilateral agreement on Dec 13, 2016, outlining the key points of agreement on the project.

There are eight stations currently planned for the HSR, namely Bandar Malaysia, Sepang-Putrajaya, Seremban, Melaka, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri in Malaysia and the Jurong East in Singapore.

The project aims to facilitate a 90-minute travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and is expected to commence operations by Dec 31, 2026.