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Gamuda eyeing affordable housing projects for IBS segment

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 17): Gamuda Bhd said it is in talks with several parties to supply its industrialised building system (IBS) components, as the group plans to increase its manufacturing capacity to 8,000 apartment units per year by 2018.

Datuk Ubull Din Om, managing director of the group's wholly-owned unit Gamuda Engineering Sdn Bhd, said the group's first Gamuda IBS facility in Sepang is already operating at its maximum capacity of 3,000 units per year, as its property arm Gamuda Land works on the Jade Hills project in Kajang.

"We are currently operating at full capacity, producing 3,000 units per year. At the moment, we are doing for our internal projects but we are also eager to supply to others as well," he said.

He explained that the group has tendered for several housing projects, including those under Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS) and the 1Malaysia People's Housing (PR1MA) initiative, as the group will see an additional capacity of 5,000 units per year with the completion of its second IBS manufacturing facility in Banting.

Construction works are ongoing at the second facility in Banting, which is expected to be completed by end-2018.

The RM350 million Banting facility will have more product lines covering a wider range of components including double walls, pre-stressed slabs and pre-fabricated bathrooms.

The new line of components will allow Gamuda to construct buildings that exceed 30 storeys high.

"With the second factory coming online end of next year, we will be able to produce a total of 8,000 of 1,000 sq ft units per year.

"The current facility manufactures solid walls which are heavy and hard to work with for taller buildings. The new facility will be able to produce double walls, which are lighter and more suitable for taller buildings," said Ubull.

Ubull spoke to the media today at the Gamuda IBS facility during a visit by Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.

The minister had praised the group's efforts in pushing the adoption of IBS in the Malaysian construction sector, especially as the government aims to make IBS usage mandatory by 2020.

"I must admit that it has been an uphill task to implement IBS where both the public and private sector must play their roles in adopting IBS as a way forward in transforming the construction sector.

"As at May 2016, about 69% of government projects adopted IBS, while the adoption rate among the private sector stood at under 15%," he said.

"I believe we can all do much more and for that I applaud Gamuda for taking this initiative to kick-start the private sector participation in leading the adoption of IBS in construction," added Fadillah.

At 3pm, Gamuda's share price was up two sen or 0.37% to RM5.44, giving a market capitalisation of RM13.3 billion. — theedgemarkets.com

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