Over 1,000 local firms apply for ECRL civil works

According to MRL, the participation from Bumiputera firms is ‘very encouraging’ with 75.3% of the overall applications

by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / pic by TMR GRAPHIC

THE East Coast Rail Link’s (ECRL) main contractor, China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), has received a total of 1,321 applications from local construction firms for the 40% civil works portion of the project.

In a joint statement with CCCC yesterday, the RM44 billion project owner, Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL), said the submissions from Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB)-registered companies were received during the pre-qualification (Pre-Q) exercise to identify potential subcontractors on May 29 and 30.

“The participation of the G7 category of CIDB-rated companies topped the list with 859 submissions or 65%. This was followed by the G5 category with 134 submissions and G4 category with 132 submissions.

“The level of enthusiasm shown by the companies, in particular from the G7 (category), augurs well with the increase in civil works participation for local contractors from 30% to 40% of the ECRL project, as per the inking of the supplementary agreement between MRL and CCCC on April 12, 2019,” it said.

MRL, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ministry of Finance Inc, added that the participations of Bumiputera companies is “very encouraging”, with 994 engineering and construction firms or 75.25% of the overall registration having submitted their applications.

This shows that local contractors are more than ready to demonstrate their willingness and capabilities to participate in mega infrastructure projects, it noted.

MRL also said the impressive number of submissions during the Pre-Q exercise is a further endorsement of the revised ECRL project as its rail network would traverse the East Coast states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang, as well as Negri Sembilan, Selangor and the Federal Territory of Putrajaya.

The 640km rail network, which is expected to link Kota Baru, in Kelantan, and Putrajaya in approximately four hours, is scheduled for completion by December 2026.

Meanwhile, MRL CEO Datuk Seri Darwis Abdul Razak said the local contractors’ participation will stimulate the construction sector and catalyse the knowledge and technology-sharing via the project.

“We also hope that the project will be an exemplary government project that demonstrates the capabilities of our local contractors to work with an international contractor in carrying out and meeting the high standards of a large-scale infrastructure project,” he said.

China Communications Construction (ECRL) Sdn Bhd MD Bai Yinzhan said the company hopes that Malaysian contractors would highly benefit from the cooperation.

“The sharing of knowledge and technology will, in the end, maximise the commercial impact of the Malaysian government’s investment by increasing the competitiveness and improvement in the quality of products and services provided by the local contractors,” he added.