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Saturday, November 24, 2007

IJM eyes RM1.2b toll road deal

Construction group IJM Corp Bhd may bid for a job to own and build a RM1.2 billion toll highway in Penang, its chief executive officer and managing director Datuk Krishnan Tan said.

"Since we have been active in Penang for some time, we will consider it," Krishnan said after the launch of its latest project in the island state yesterday.

IJM is the second company after Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd to express an interest in the Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR).

The government announced in September that it will call a tender for the project, the first toll road to be tendered out in Malaysia.

Krishnan did not say if IJM will bid on its own or with partners.

The PORR, initiated a decade ago, is one of three major infrastructure projects in Penang under the Ninth Malaysia Plan. The others are the Second Penang Bridge and the Penang Monorail.

IJM's property business began in Penang in 1983 and the company today boasts a landbank on Penang island and Seberang Prai totalling 160 hectares.

Yesterday, Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon launched IJM's RM6.5 billion "The Light" waterfront city development.

The mixed residential and commercial development, to be built on part of 135.2ha of reclaimed land along Penang's eastern coastline, will be done by IJM's subsidiary, Jelutong Development Sdn Bhd (JDSB).

In 1997, JDSB was awarded the privatised construction of the Jelutong Expressway by the Penang state government.

As part of the privatisation agreement, JDSB was granted the right to reclaim 130ha for development.

The Light is being touted by IJM as a showcase of the best in integrated waterfront living. It will include residential, recreational, entertainment, business, hospitality, education and commercial components in one hub.

"The project will be developed in three phases, with 16.8ha in Phase One set aside for the development of six parcels of high-end waterfront residential development comprising 1,186 units," Krishnan said.

The second phase, covering 41.2ha, is slated to be developed into a commercial and retail city.

In addition to four hotels, an exhibition centre, banquet and conference facilities, and a waterfront amphitheatre, Phase Two will encompass shopping malls and waterfront eateries.

Krishnan said the sales launch for the project will take place next year. Construction is scheduled to start in late 2008.

By New Straits Times (by Marina Emmanuel)

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