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Monday, June 28, 2010

RM4b projects seen in Penang

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Master Builders and Building Materials Dealers Association (PMBBMDA) expects the value of construction contracts in Penang this year to be slightly over RM4bil, which is the same as last year, but below the RM5bil forecast in 2009.

PMBBMDA president Vincent Ong said this was due to the global uncertainties and the pending gradual removal of subsidies, which would hike construction costs and lower demand.

“Nevertheless for the first quarter 2010, the value of 38 contracts from both the government and private sectors in Penang hit RM206mil, compared with about RM45mil achieved in the previous corresponding quarter, according to the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) report,” he told StarBiz.

“Of the 38 contracts, 10 were from the government sector. This compared with 11 contracts in the first quarter last year, of which three were government jobs.”

He said the association hoped to get more contracts from the state and federal governments for projects such as the expansion of the Penang International Airport, the second bridge and the Mengkuang Dam expansion.

“A lot of the government and private contracts that our members are handling now were approved before 2010.

“We hope this year there will be more fresh projects. If not, there may not be sufficient work to go around,” he said.

Last year, there were a total of 88 contracts, with an estimated value of RM638mil.

Meanwhile, PMBBMDA immediate past president Finn Choong said there would be over RM350mil worth of renovation jobs available for the association’s 117 members from now till March next year.

The renovation jobs are from projects such as the phase three of Setia Pearl Island and The Looc Residence, which recently obtained a certificate of fitness, Prestige Heights, the Moonlight Bay, Suria, Pavillion, Summer Place and Platino, which will be ready for renovation before year-end, and the Residence@Southbay, which will be ready in the first quarter 2011.

“The total sales value of these projects is about RM1.32bil.

“These properties will easily generate about RM350mil worth of renovation jobs, as it is normal for the owner of a unit to spend 25% to 30% of the property’s value on renovation,” Choong said.

Real Estate Housing Estate Developers’ Association Penang chairman Datuk Jerry Chan said the pending removal of subsidy sales would spur the sales of properties.

“This is natural as people want to grab properties with prices as they are today before an increase after the subsidies are removed,” he said.

By The Star

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