Prasarana Malaysia Bhd replaces its light rail vehicles (LRV)

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 21):  Prasarana Malaysia Bhd, the country’s public transport asset owner and operator, has spent RM1 billion to replace its light rail vehicles (LRV), said group managing director Datuk Seri Shahril Mokhtar.

Speaking to reporters after signing an agreement with China-based train manufacturer CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co Ltd today, Shahril said Prasarana has purchased 30 units of six-car LRVs on a trade-in basis for RM370 million.

He added that the 30 LRVs purchased are in addition to its previous order of 20 LRV sets worth RM620 million.

Under the agreement, the new LRVs will be delivered in phases beginning December this year, and will replace the old fleet, some of which are 15 years old.

Prasarana currently has 30 sets of six-car trains used for the Ampang line and 35 sets of four-car trains used for Kelana Jaya line.

“The structure of the deal is such that we will dispose our old fleet to CSR Zhuzhou, on a trade-in basis. This, at the same time, reduces our purchase amount to its current value and cost. Without such arrangement, the purchase cost will definitely be higher,” he said.

Shahril added that Prasarana plans to raise another RM2 billion of sukuk next year, the bulk of which will be used to fund future rolling stock purchases and other working capital expenditure.

“At the moment, RM2 billion is what we have discussed. But details are still sketchy at this stage and we will revisit the fundraising initiative next year,” he said.

As for Prasarana’s light rail transit (LRT) extension for the Ampang line, Shahril said the first phase is expected to be operational by October next year.

The 18.1km extension project stretches from Sri Petaling to Putra Heights, and passes through Kinrara and Puchong.

“Construction progress is well above 50%. We target the first phase to be operational by October next year, with full operational target by March 2016. The new LRVs purchased will be used to carry passengers for this line,” he said.

Meanwhile, CSR Zhuzhou chairman and general manager Zhou Qinghe said the group has invested about RM400 million to establish CSR Malaysia Rail Transit Equipment Manufacturing Base in Batu Gajah, Perak.

The facility, he said, will provide engineering services like vehicle welding, testing, overhaul and refurbishment.