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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Second Penang link may cost less

The second Penang bridge project will cost less than the RM4.5 billion initially estimated and is on track to be completed by September 2013.

"We are expecting it (cost of second bridge construction) to be less than RM4.5 billion with the competitive open tender for Package 3," Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd (JKSB) managing director Datuk Professor Ismail Mohd Taib told reporters after a signing ceremony between JKSB with CHEC Construction (M) Sdn Bhd and UEM Builders Bhd in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

So far, over 100 construction firms have shown keen interest in the RM750 million Package 3 contract work.

"About 40 of those companies have submitted their tender for Package 3. We hope the board can sit this month and if there are no problems, we can start work for Package 3 construction by the end of May this year," he said.

Asked why the second Penang bridge project has been delayed for more than a year, Ismail said it was due to the "change in business model and funding of the project, which have resulted in a review of the contractual terms of the agreements with the financiers and the contractors".
The 17km bridge will link Batu Kawan to Batu Maung on Penang island and will be the longest in the region when completed.

Package 3 is divided into seven parts: The Batu Maung Interchange(Package 3A), the Batu Kawan Land Expressway (Package 3B), the Batu Kawan Trumpet Interchange (Package 3C), Toll Plaza and Administration Building (Package 3D), Toll Collection System (Package 3E), Traffic Control Surveillance System (Package 3F) and Mechanical and Electrical and Infrastructure Works for Package 3A and 3C (Package 3G).

Package 1 of the second Penang bridge project involves a RM2.2 billion contract work on the main span, substructures and foundation, which is expected to be completed in May 2012.

Package 2 is a RM1.55 billion contract for the construction of the superstructure, scheduled for completion in 2013.

Construction of the Second Penang Bridge is now 24 per cent complete and it should be open to traffic by November 2013.

JKSB is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) formed by the federal government to supervise and fast-track the second Penang bridge project.

It is also a concessionaire appointed to oversee the construction, management and operations of the second bridge.

Yesterday's signing saw the award of Package 1 and two construction works to CHEC Construction and UEM Builders respectively.

Deputy Finance Minister Senator Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin, who witnessed the signing, said the mega project will not only benefit Penang residents but also those in the surrounding areas.

"Apart from the objective to ease traffic congestion, it will also stimulate the economy of the southern area of Penang, thus further enhancing the country's economic development," he said.

By Business Times

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