Malaysia Rail Link (MRL) announced that 331 local construction companies have been shortlisted as potential tenderers for civil works packages for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project.
The calls for tenders to the local contractors will commence in the fourth quarter of 2019.
China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) had earlier called for submission of pre- qualification documents in May 2019 in an effort to identify potential local subcontractors for the 40 percent civil works portion of the project, excluding tunnel works.
The tender packages to be issued for the 40 percent civil works would first involve the 223-km stretch from Dungun to Mentakab where the rail alignment had been finalized, and the tenders for local contractors would continuously be called throughout the construction period of the ECRL.
The shortlisted companies represent 25.1% of 1,321 Malaysian construction companies following detailed evaluation of each entity’s track record, financial capabilities, technical personnel and plant and equipment.
All shortlisted companies are expected to be notified in writing before end-August 2019 by CCCC who is the engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning (EPCC) contractor for the 640-km ECRL project.
MRL CEO, Darwis Abdul Razak, said that further tenders will be called once both the re-alignment from Kota Bharu to Dungun as well as new Southern alignment between Mentakab and Port Klang have been firmed up.
The signing of a supplementary agreement between MRL and CCCC on 12 April 2019 had paved the way for the resumption of the ECRL project. The improved deal, amongst others, saw the construction cost of the ECRL reduced to RM 44 billion (USD 10.5 billion) from RM 65.5 billion (USD 15.63 billion), while the portion for local participation of the ECRL civil works rose to 40 percent from 30 percent previously.
Prior to the suspension of the ECRL project, there have been local companies consisting of suppliers, contractors, and consultants that were appointed by CCCC for preliminary works on the ECRL. These contracts were suspended following the suspension of the ECRL project on 3 July 2018.
The 640-km ECRL rail network is scheduled for completion by December 2026 and expected to link the East Coast states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang to Negeri Sembilan, Selangor and Federal Territory of Putrajaya. The passenger trains will travel at 160km/h, cutting travel time from Kota Bharu to Putrajaya in4 hours.