KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 23): Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded Gamuda Bhd's operating unit Gamuda Bhd Singapore Branch's (GBSG) joint venture (JV) with Wai Fong Construction Pte Ltd, a S$ 467 million (about RM1.45 billion) design and construction contract for the proposed Defu station and tunnels, which form a part of Singapore’s 29km Cross Island Line Phase 1 (CRL1) mass rapid transit (MRT) line.

Gamuda said in a statement on Tuesday (Feb 22) to Bursa Malaysia that GBSG and Wai Fong Construction have formed an unincorporated JV on a 60:40 basis respectively, under which GBSG  is the lead member for the design and construction of the planned Defu station and tunnels along Tampines Road.

Commencement date for the Defu station and tunnels project is scheduled within the "second quarter of 2022”, while completion date is expected within 2030, according to Gamuda.

"The main risks for Defu station and tunnel project is the availability of foreign staff and labour due to the evolving immigration policy in border restrictions brought about by the (Covid-19) pandemic.

"The Defu station and tunnel project is expected to contribute positively to the revenue and earnings of Gamuda Group for the financial year ending 31 July 2022,” Gamuda said.

Gamuda said Wai Fong Construction, which is directly owned by SJK Investments Ltd, has been operating for more than 28 years in Singapore.

According to Gamuda, CRL is Singapore’s eighth MRT line.

Gamuda said the work scope for the Defu station and tunnel project comprises one underground station and two tunnels.

Singapore’s LTA had also on Tuesday (Feb 22) issued a statement on the award of two contracts, one each involving the design and construction of the CRL1’s planned Defu and Tampines North stations and their associated tunnels.

"The first contract, valued at S$467 million and covering the design and construction of Defu station and tunnels, was awarded to GBSG-Wai Fong Construction JV.

"Gamuda Bhd has vast experience in infrastructure and residential projects locally and abroad. The company is currently involved in the construction of Gali Batu Bus Depot.

"Wai Fong Construction has an established track record in providing design-and-build construction services for infrastructure projects such as rail stations and tunnels. They are currently involved in the construction of two stations on the Jurong Region Line (JRL), as well as road tunnels between Victoria Street and Kampong Java Road for the North-South Corridor,” the LTA said.

Meanwhile, the LTA said it has awarded the estimated S$397 million Tampines North station and tunnels design and construction contract to China Communications Construction Co Ltd (Singapore Branch).

The LTA said China Communications Construction Co has extensive experience in undertaking infrastructure construction and building projects locally and abroad. 

"The company is currently constructing a station along the JRL, as well as the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link viaduct and tunnels, the LTA said.

According to the LTA, the proposed Defu station is located along Tampines Road between Defu Avenue 1 and Defu Avenue 2, while the Tampines North station is located between Tampines Link and Tampines Ave 11. 

The LTA said excavation works at these areas are expected to be challenging, as the ground conditions comprise thick and soft layers of marine clay, as well as a soil-like material comprising sandy and silty clay. 

"Safety measures will be taken when carrying out the earth retaining and stabilising structure and deep excavation works to ensure stability of the ground and surrounding structures. 

"LTA and the contractors will monitor the works closely to ensure that they are carried out safely and minimise any inconvenience to stakeholders.

"Construction works for Defu and Tampines North stations are expected to start in the second quarter of this year, with passenger service for CRL1 slated to commence in 2030," the LTA said.

The CRL is Singapore’s eighth MRT line. The LTA said CRL will serve existing and future developments in the eastern, north-eastern and western corridors, linking major hubs such as Jurong Lake District, Punggol Digital District and Changi region. 

According to the LTA, the CRL will have almost half of its stations as interchanges with other rail lines, making it easier and more convenient for commuters to travel across the rail network.

"CRL1 is 29 kilometres long and comprises 12 stations from Aviation Park to Bright Hill. This will serve residential and industrial areas in Loyang, Tampines, Pasir Ris, Defu, Hougang, Serangoon North and Ang Mo Kio and benefit more than 100,000 households. 

"With CRL1, common recreational spaces such as Changi Beach Park and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park will be more accessible by public transport. Studies on the details of subsequent CRL phases are ongoing,” the LTA said.

At Bursa on Tuesday (Feb 22), Gamuda’s share trade was halted since 4:17pm in conjunction with the announcement on the Singapore MRT contract.

Prior to the halt, Gamuda’s shares were traded three sen or 1% lower at RM2.97, valuing the group at about RM7.45 billion based on the company’s 2.51 billion issued shares.

Trading in Gamuda shares will resume at 9am on Wednesday (Feb 23), the company said.

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