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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Scomi eyes Penang, India monorail deals

SCOMI Engineering Bhd, a unit of Scomi Group Bhd, is upbeat about securing a monorail contract in Mumbai, India, but hopes to secure the monorail project in Penang first.

Its president, Hilmy Zaini, said the company wants to introduce its second generation monorail called Sutra, which was launched in November last year in Penang, before launching the new innovative system to other parts of the world.

Hilmy Zaini

"It would be good for us to launch the new Sutra at the company's hometown in Penang," he told reporters after Scomi Engineering's annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Hilmy was asked to update the progress of the monorail project in Penang, which is currently facing uncertainty.

"There is nothing much to update. We are waiting for the results (whether to go on with the project or not). We don't know when (a decision will be made).

"The Mumbai monorail project is closing the tender in a few weeks time. But we hope to get the Penang monorail first," he said.

Scomi is part of a group that includes Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB), which is bidding for the monorail project on Penang island.

In January this year, Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd awarded a letter of intent for the project to MRCB, which formed a consortium with Penang Port Sdn Bhd and Scomi Engineering Bhd.

However, the project has been put in doubt after the Pakatan Rakyat win in Penang during the last general elections on March 8.

Apart from Mumbai and Penang, Hilmy said, the company is also looking to bid for monorail projects in the Middle East, Vietnam, Africa and several cities in India.

He said the company has been engaged to conduct feasibility studies in Vietnam and Saudi Arabia.

"We hope to complete the study in Vietnam in three months times, while in Saudi Arabia it will take between six months and a year to complete.

"When completed, we will present our findings to the respective authorities and submit our bids for the projects," he said.

Hilmy said the company aims to set up two new machine shops in a year, starting from 2009.

By New Straits Times (by Kamarul Yunus)

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