Pan Borneo project delivery partners not removed yet, says minister’s adviser

KUALA LUMPUR: The two project delivery partners (PDP) for the RM29 billion Pan Borneo Highway have not been removed yet, says Tian Chua, the special adviser to Works Minister Baru Bian.

He said the government was reviewing the entire Pan Borneo Highway project, including the two PDPs – Borneo Highway PDP Sdn Bhd and Lebuhraya Borneo Utara (LBU) Sdn Bhd.

Business daily The Edge reported that Putrajaya had decided to ditch the PDP model for the project and opt for a turnkey-contractor model instead.

“No, not yet,” Tian Chua told reporters when met at a forum on political funding.

He said the government was reviewing the PDPs and their subcontractors but nothing had been finalised.

He said the government’s main priority was ensuring the completion of the project on time.

However, Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal had earlier confirmed reports that the PDP model for the Pan Borneo Highway would be dropped. He said the state government had discussed the issue with Putrajaya.

Quoting sources, The Edge had reported that the works ministry would take over the project, with turnkey contractors hired to replace the PDP for the remaining construction work on the project.

The report attributed the decision to cost overruns under the existing PDP structure, adding that it was in line with the government’s aim to stop awarding projects through the PDP model which was less cost-efficient.

Construction of the Pan Borneo Highway is expected to be completed by 2023 in Sarawak and 2025 in Sabah. The dual carriageway will stretch 2,325km.

Meanwhile at the Parliament lobby, Deputy Works Minister Annuar Tahir said the Cabinet would decide on the issues related to the Pan Borneo Highway, particularly those involving Sabah, by the end of the month.

He said until a decision is made, all speculation would remain just that.

For now, he added, negotiations between the federal and Sabah governments would continue.

“We will continue to negotiate until a win-win decision is reached.”