Thursday July 15, 2010
Gamuda, MMC eye tunnel works
By SHARIDAN M. ALI
PETALING JAYA: Gamuda Bhd and MMC Corp plan to bid for the RM14bil tunnelling works if their joint-venture mass rapid transit (MRT) system proposal is accepted by the Government, said Gamuda group managing director Datuk Lin Yun Ling.
“The tunnelling or underground works cover about 30% of the whole project involving 26 stations, mostly located in the city centre out of the total of 90-plus new stations in the MRT prosposal.
“If the proposal goes through, we only hope to be given a chance to fairly bid for the underground works. The Government will have the right to compare us with other bidders which are all expected to be from outside Malaysia.
“This is because there is no other company in Malaysia that has the track record involving such works,” he told StarBiz, adding that the proposed project could be divided into three major phases where the development would be stretched over 10 years.
The RM36bil joint MRT proposal by Gamuda and MMC is now under feasibility studies by two government-appointed independent consultants that will be concluded in three months.
Lin said both Gamuda and MMC were also interested in overseeing the whole project.
But even if they were “chariot master”, they wanted to be given a chance to bid for the project (in this case only the tunnelling works) but the Government could put the bid to a Swiss challenge.
Swiss challenge means a private sector participant submits an unsolicited proposal and draft contract principles for undertaking a project to the Government and competitive counter proposals are invited.
On funding of the project, Lin said the Government would have its own way to come up with the funding.
“In my point of view, if we look at the bigger picture, the RM36bil or RM43bil (inclusive land acquisition and rolling stocks) cost for the MRT is close to our fuel subsidy of RM50bil for six years.
“But the difference is that this RM43bil MRT project will not only benefit us but also our future generation,” he said.
Asked on how Gamuda and MMC had come out with the idea for the project, Lin said MRT was the way forward for Kuala Lumpur to be at par with other major cities in the region in terms of public transport usage.
“Our Klang Valley public transport usage is now at 16% whereas other major cities in the region have exceeded 40%.
“And for Greater Kuala Lumpur, 40% to 50% of public transport usage is sufficient as our road network is also quite good.
“In our proposal, we could achieve that level by 2020 and that will translate into 2 million passengers on rail daily compared to about 400,000 now,” he said.
More importantly, Lin said, the “wheel and spoke” network system of the proposed MRT would provide easy and less costly development of future expansion.
The wheel and spoke MRT network system is also used in Berlin, Moscow and Singapore.
Gamuda shares closed flat yesterday at RM3.34.
Gamuda Bhd group MD Datuk Lin Yun Ling sheds some light on the proposed MRT project in an interview with StarBiz
■ MRT to give high economic investment return