KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 16): China Railway International Corp Ltd (CRIC) believes that the consortium formed along with its peers has an advantage in bidding to be the asset owner of the 350-kilometre Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR), given the republic's track record in HSR projects, engineering talents and diplomatic relationship between Malaysia and China.

At a press conference after launching the consortium's China HSR Experience Cube, an exhibition booth, at KL Sentral here today, CRIC chairman and deputy chief engineer Yang Zhongmin told reporters that because of these advantages, the consortium is confident in securing the project's tender.

"I can't confirm that we will secure the project, but suffice to say that we have competitive advantage among the other competitors," he said.

CRIC is a subsidiary of China Railway Engineering Corp, a state-owned construction firm, which forms part of the abovementioned consortium with some of its peers like China Railway Construction Corp and China Communications Construction Co Ltd.

While Yang said the Chinese parties are committed in technological sharing if they win the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR, he stressed that details of the project have not been finalised at the moment and hence he is not able to provide an estimated cost for the project.

"We haven't finalised on the rate of return that the consortium is expecting currently, and even in mainland China, our rail projects have their own unique structure and rate of return, so we cannot compare them with Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR," he said.

The Experience Cube, Yang said, is to allow the Malaysian public to get a taste of the consortium's technology, and the booth will be exhibiting for the next three months from today onwards.

This is the second exhibition done by the Chinese parties as an effort to showcase their technology while bidding for the HSR project.

Aside from China, Japan and South Korea are the two other countries that expressed keen interest in the project, whereby Japan has done a symposium last July for the same purpose, and South Korea has begun operating a similar "experience cube" in Nu Sentral, a retail mall next to KL Sentral. — theedgemarkets.com

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