Gamuda, Martinus Rail to bid for RM56b jobs

by ASILA JALIL/ pic by TMR GRAPHIC

GAMUDA Bhd will acquire a 50% equity stake in Australia-based Martinus Rail Pte Ltd in a move to bid for over A$20 billion (RM56.05 billion) worth of construction projects in Australia over the next year.

Gamuda Engineering Australia and Martinus Rail will tender for infrastructure jobs immediately, while Gamuda will provide support and training to help address the skills shortage in Australia, the group said in a statement yesterday.

“This acquisition provides a springboard for Gamuda to contribute towards infrastructure development in Australia, especially in the railway industry, in addition to the upcoming metro tunnels and tolled road projects.

“We expect to be tendering more than A$20 billion of work over the next year or so,” Gamuda Engineering Sdn Bhd MD Datuk Ubull Din Om said.

The deal will be financed via “internally generated funds”, a Gamuda spokesperson told The Malaysian Reserve when contacted yesterday.

Martinus Rail is the largest independent and privately owned specialist rail constructor in Australia. It has delivered large rail projects worth over A$200 million in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

“We are excited by the prospect of bringing innovation and technology from a world-class rail infrastructure company like Gamuda to the Australian rail industry, and combining it with our extensive local experience to become Australia’s leading rail contractor,” Martinus Rail MD Treavan Martinus said.

According to a BIS Oxford Economic Report published in July 2019, rail infrastructure works in Australia are expected to grow 14% per annum until 2023.

Beyond that, railway works will be supported by expected networks to the Melbourne and Western Sydney Airports, as well as continued construction of the Inland Rail, Sydney Metro West and Geelong Fast Rail.

“Australia has very few top-tier rail contractors, and with infrastructure spending to enhance the urban transport network in Australia, this investment will provide immense opportunity to be a catalyst of job creation, while improving liveability and sustainability of the communities,” Gamuda said.

Australia’s Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner to Malaysia Daniel Havas welcomed Gamuda’s investment, noting that it highlights the continued growth in the commercial relationship between the countries, as well as Malaysia’s confidence in Australia’s continued infrastructure development pipeline estimated at A$300 billion.