KUALA LUMPUR (June 22): More than RM7 billion worth of civil works contracts were offered to subcontractors and local suppliers for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project in the East Coast states as of April this year, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Ismail Sabri said China Communications Construction Co (CCCC) as the main contractor of the mega project has also agreed to pay special attention to the appointment of small contractors of Grade G1 to G3 to directly benefit them.
“A special committee on the participation of local and Bumiputera contractors for the ECRL project has been established to monitor and ensure effective participation of qualified local companies,” he said in his speech in conjunction with the groundbreaking ceremony for the Genting ECRL tunnel project on Thursday (June 23).
The latest figure marked progress from RM3.9 billion of works awarded to local players from 2017 until November 2020, according to reports.
At the ceremony, Ismail Sabri said the ECRL project sees the involvement of more than 1,500 local companies comprising contractors, suppliers and consultants.
This is in line with the agreement between Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) as the owner of the ECRL project, and CCCC to appoint local subcontractors and suppliers for at least 40% of the project's civil works, which is estimated to be worth up to RM10 billion.
Meanwhile, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said the project’s progress is now at a “convincing” level towards achieving the 37% target by end-2022, from 30% as of May this year.
“Our goal is to complete the ECRL project by December 2026 from Kota Bharu, Kelantan to Gombak Integrated Terminal (ITT Gombak), Selangor. We hope that it will be completed on schedule and begin operations in early 2027,” he said.
At the launch, Ismail Sabri also reaffirmed that the ECRL project owner MRL has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with CCCC to form a 50:50 joint venture to undertake the rail service operations.
“This JV company will provide technical assistance and intensify the technology transfer of trains, as well as jointly operate and maintain the ECRL in the long run,” he said.
Costing RM50.27 billion, the 665km-long ECRL connecting Kota Bharu, Kelantan and Port Klang, Selangor, spans four sections namely Section A from Kota Bharu to Dungun; Section B of Dungun to Mentakab; and Section C from Mentakab to Port Klang.
This track includes 128km of elevated portion, as well as numerous tunnels in Terengganu, Kuantan and Pahang — including the 16.39km-long Genting ECRL tunnel, which will be the longest rail tunnel in the region upon completion.