70% of shortlisted subcontractors for ECRL work are Bumiputeras

The 640km ECRL rail network, running from Kota Bharu to Port Klang, is scheduled for completion by December 2026.

PETALING JAYA: About 70.7% of the 331 construction companies shortlisted as subcontractors in a pre-qualification exercise for work on the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project are Bumiputera companies, the Malaysia Rail Link (MRL) said today.

All the shortlisted companies are expected to be notified in writing before the end of this month by ECRL’s main contractor, China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC), MRL said today.

CCCC is the engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning contractor for the 640km ECRL project, expected to cost RM44 billion.

CCCC had received 1,321 submissions during the pre-qualification exercise to identify the potential subcontractors, held on May 29 and 30, for the 40% civil works portion of the ECRL.

MRL said calls for tenders will commence in the fourth quarter of 2019 .

The signing of a supplementary agreement between MRL and CCCC on April 12 had paved the way for the resumption of the ECRL project.

The improved deal, among others, saw the construction cost of the ECRL reduced to RM44 billion from RM65.5 billion, while the portion for local participation of the ECRL civil works rose to 40% from 30% previously.

Prior to the suspension of the ECRL project, local suppliers, contractors, and consultants were appointed by CCCC for preliminary works on the ECRL. These contracts were suspended following the suspension of the ECRL project on July 3, 2018.

MRL said today that with the resumption of the ECRL project, CCCC will now honour these respective contracts and enable the local companies concerned to resume work.

According to MRL CEO Darwis Abdul Razak, tender packages to be issued for the 40% civil works (excluding tunnel works) would first involve the 223km stretch from Dungun to Mentakab as the rail alignment had been finalised.

He said tenders for local contractors would continuously be called throughout the construction period of the ECRL.

He said further tenders will be called once the re-alignment from Kota Bharu to Dungun as well as the new southern alignment between Mentakab and Port Klang had been finalised.

MRL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Minister of Finance Incorporated, is the project and asset owner of the ECRL. The rail network is scheduled for completion by December 2026 linking Kota Bharu to Putrajaya in four hours.