MRT Corp saves 15% cost from refurbished tunnel boring machines

We have refurbished 8 machines out of the total 12 to be used for the new MRT Line 2, says CEO

By KEVIN WONG / Pic By AFIF ABD HALIM

Mass Rapid Transit Corp Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) saved 15%, or up to RM400 million, in cost with the refurbishing of its tunnel boring machines (TBMs) for the upcoming MRT Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya line (MRT Line 2).

MRT Corp CEO Datuk Seri Shahril Mokhtar said instead of purchasing new machines for MRT Line 2, the project owner opted to refurbish the machines to reduce the costs.

“At the same time, this is the first time that we have launched a TBM that has been refurbished. We have refurbished eight machines out of the total 12 to be used for the new MRT Line 2.

“This saves us about 10% to 15% in costs than purchasing a new machine,” Shahril told reporters after witnessing the launch of the refurbished TBM at the Bandar Malaysia North station in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He said the MRT Line 2 is currently at 22% completion. MRT Corp expects to complete the project below its construction budget cost of RM32 billion.

“We are also hoping to complete the construction earlier than the final deadline, which is in 2022,” he said.

The first phase — from Sungai Buloh to Batu Kentomen — will be completed by July 2021, while the remaining segment of the line-up to Putrajaya is scheduled for completion in 2022.

“We are working very hard to stay below the budget and to finish ahead of schedule. It has been going good so far,” Shahril said.

He added that more than 40 packages have been awarded worth RM30 billion for the upcoming MRT Line 2.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak launched the first of 12 TBMs that will be used for the MRT Line 2, also known as the SSP Line.

Also present during the launch were MRT Corp chairman and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri and Land Public Transport Commission chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad.

The TBM is a variable density TBM, which is specifically designed for tunnelling through the challenging lime-stone geological formation in the Klang Valley.

Additionally, the machine is the result of the cooperation between MMC Gamuda

KVMRT (T) Sdn Bhd, the underground works contractor for MRT Line 2, and TBM manufacturer Herrenknecht AG.

The machine was built for previous tunnelling works for the first MRT line.

The MRT Line 2 has a total alignment of 52.2km — of which 13.5km will be underground, where it will have 35 stations.

This will be the second MRT line to be constructed under the Klang Valley MRT (KVMRT) project, following the completion of the 51km Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line.

The upcoming MRT line will run from Sungai Buloh to Putrajaya, which will pass through Kepong, Batu, Jalan Ipoh, Titiwangsa, KLCC, Tun Razak Exchange, Bandar Malaysia, Sungai Besi, Serdang, UPM and Cyberjaya.