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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Scomi targets monorail market in Middle East

Datuk Siddiq Firdause Mohd Ali (seated left) and Ha Huy Quang signing the agreement witnessed by (from left) Hilmi Zaini (partially hidden), Scomi Group chief representative Datuk Ainuddin Noordin, Malaysian ambassador to Vietnam Datuk Lim Kim Eng and Vietnamese officials

HANOI: Scomi Group Bhd aims to penetrate the Middle East market for monorail systems within six months.

Scomi Engineering Bhd president Hilmi Zaini said the group was currently studying proposals from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain to set up monorail systems for the growing cities in these countries.

Scomi Engineering is a unit of Scomi Group involved in constructing monorail systems.

“We expect one of these countries to be our base for expansion in the Middle East, just like India and Vietnam are our bases for expansion in South Asia and South-East Asia respectively,” Hilmi told Malaysian journalists during a briefing on the group’s expansion plans yesterday.

“We also plan to move into the African market for monorail systems within two years,” he said.

Scomi Engineering is one of the three companies shortlisted for the RM5bil monorail project in Mumbai, India.

The 70km monorail project, stretching over four corridors in Mumbai’s city and suburbs, would be implemented on a build, operate and transfer basis for at least 30 years.

“Scomi spent about RM10mil to develop the Scomi Urban Transit Rail Application launched last year using Malaysian technology,” Hilmi said.

“The competitive edge of our monorail system is that its technology can be upgraded continuously without additional civil and structural investment.

“Its composite technology makes it possible to construct a lighter monorail system which brings down the life cycle maintenance cost.”

Scomi Engineering yesterday signed a collaboration agreement with the Hanoi Metropolitan Rail Management Board (HRB) to prepare a feasibility study on the implementation of a monorail system in Hanoi.

The agreement was signed by HRB director-general Ha Huy Quang and Scomi Transportation Systems Sdn Bhd (STSSB) director Datuk Siddiq Firdause Mohd Ali.

STSSB is a subsidiary of Scomi Engineering.

The Hanoi city government commissioned HRB and Scomi Engineering to prepare a comprehensive proposal on a monorail network to meet the urban transport requirements of Hanoi, and to integrate other urban transportation systems being implemented in the city.

“The proposal will be submitted in six months to the People’s Committee for approval, upon which Scomi Engineering will proceed to implement it,” Hilmi said.

By The Star (by David Tan)

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