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Saturday, February 2, 2008

MRCB eyes more rehab deals

MALAYSIAN Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB), an engineering, construction and property group, is bidding for more jobs in the lucrative river and beach rehabilitation sector.

Currently, its subsidiary, MRCB Environment Sdn Bhd (MRCBE), is handling contracts worth more than RM600 million over the next three years, said MRCB vice president and head of infrastructure and environment division, Dr Shaharizuan Shafiei.

"We are a maritime country with coastlines of more than 4,700km, including Sabah and Sarawak ... we also have 190 river basins nationwide.

"With that, the opportunity is tremendous ... it is difficult to quantify but it can run into billions of ringgit," he said in an interview with Business Times in Shah Alam recently.

Established in 2003, MRCBE is a turnkey project management company that provides innovative environmental techniques and services in river and beach rehabilitation and restoration.

"We are the only company in the country providing total solutions on a turnkey basis, and not limiting to one area of problems only," said Shaharizuan, who is also MRCBE director.

MRCBE is currently working on a few projects in Pahang and Penang.

The ongoing projects include river mouth protection of Kuala Pahang in Pahang; coastal and river rehabilitation, drainage master plan and mooring facilities of Teluk Tekek at Pulau Tioman in Pahang; and total rehabilitation of Sungai Perai in Penang.

The company has also received the Letter of Intent for river mouth protection work for Sungai Kuantan in Pahang.

Shaharizuan expects MRCBE to get the interim award for this project by this year. Interim awards involve carrying out the initial work of a project like designing.

Typically, a company will win the full award when it gets the interim award.

He said the project in Sg Pahang comprises two parts - construction of a breakwater at the river mouth and a flood mitigation project in Pekan.

The construction of the breakwater - a structure made of tetrapod and granite - at the river mouth of Sg Pahang, will protect the river from becoming volatile during the monsoon season, thus allowing fishermen to fish throughout the year.

"If this project - part one and two - is approved by the government, it will be the largest project for MRCBE so far.

"For the first part alone, the project could run into hundreds of million ringgit," he said.

Besides local and foreign expertise, he said the company's strength also lies in a patented technology from Denmark, called the pressure equalization modules (PEM) system.

PEM is an environment-friendly technology used in coastal protection without using any hard structures or mechanical methods. Instead, pipes are embedded into the beach to prevent soil erosion.

Shaharizuan said MRCBE had installed PEM at the pilot project at Teluk Cempedak in Pahang.

"We were awarded the project by DID (Department of Irrigation and Drainage) in 2003 and we completed it in 2004.

"The monitoring of the system has been completed in 2007 and unofficial results show favourable outcome," he said.

MRCBE is also eyeing opportunities beyond Malaysia. It has scouted for work in Thailand, Indonesia and parts of Australia.

"We have proposed for coastal restoration using PEM for beaches in Pattaya and Phuket and the Thai government has put the proposal under KIV (keep in view)," he said.

By New Straits Times (by Hamisah Hamidand Kamarul Yunus)

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