Ancom in JV deal to build, operate Johor’s LRT system

by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by TMR FILE

ANCOM Bhd has entered into a joint venture (JV) with Nylex (M) Bhd (a 50.13%-owned subsidiary of Ancom), Sinar Bina Infra Sdn Bhd (SBI), LBS Bina Group Bhd and BTS Group Holdings plc yesterday for the collaboration to build and operate a light rail transport (LRT) system connected with the railway shuttle link currently being built from Singapore to Johor Baru (RTS Link).

In a filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday, Ancom stated that it will be an integrated property development using the “transit-oriented development” (TOD) concept in Johor Baru metropolitan region.

It also noted that the LRT project is subject to the feasibility study being completed and the grant of the concession award for the LRT project by the Johor state government.

After the completion of the proposed venture, Ancom said Nylex will undertake a private placement of new shares to BTS, Ancom and/or other investors to be identified to raise funding needed to put on-stream the operation of the project and development of the project lands and LBS’ lands.

The placement shares will be issued at 15 sen per Nylex share.

BTS is the major shareholder of Bangkok Mass Transit System plc, the operator of the BTS Skytrain and Bangkok bus rapid transit.

Pursuant to the JV, Nylex will appoint BTS to commission a feasibility study by professional consultants on the commercial viability of an LRT system using the TOD concept in Johor Baru metropolitan region.

BTS shall also provide Nylex with its input and experience in operating and implementing the TOD concept in the Bangkok metropolitan region.

The planned LRT project being studied under the feasibility study is projected to have an estimated carrying capacity of 15,000 passengers per hour per direction, matching that of the RTS Link currently being built from Singapore to Johor Baru.

The LRT project could span 75km with the initial phase of the LRT project within the Johor Baru city centre to be approximately 9km.

BTS or its affiliate shall be the preferred equipment supplier and system integrator for the LRT project and the preferred main contractor for operation and maintenance of the LRT system.

LBS or its affiliate will be the preferred civil and construction contractor for the project.

With the feasibility study, SBI will liaise with the state government on all matters related to the LRT project and procure the LRT concession.

Shares of Ancom closed six sen or 1.64% higher at RM3.71 yesterday, giving it a market capitalisation of RM983 million.