China construction big guns among bidders for Penang TMP

GEORGE TOWN: Some 30 local and foreign companies have picked up the subscription forms for bidders to take part in the state’s request for proposal (RFP) to implement the RM27 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (TMP).

Among them are Chinese construction powerhouses China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC), China Railway Construction Corp (CRCC) and Sino Hydro Corp Ltd, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

In Penang, CHEC has teamed up with UEM Group to be the main builder for the RM4.5 billion Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge, while CRCC is one of four companies in Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd tasked with executing the RM6.3 billion integrated infrastructure project.

Guan Eng told reporters on Wednesday that there was a mix of construction companies, consultants and system providers among the applicants who were vying to be a project delivery partner (PDP) for the state.

The number of applicants had exceeded the expectation of the state government following its Aug 15 RFP launch and it is now considering extending the Dec 16 deadline for the submission of bids by another two months.

“The response is beyond our expectations. We expect more to come with an extension of the deadline. In fact there are some who have not bought the forms but will do so after the presentation [to interested bidders],” said Guan Eng.

The list of applicants also boasts local construction giants such as government-linked company UEM Group, Gamuda Bhd, IJM Corp Bhd, Prasarana Malaysia Bhd, Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd, Scomi Group Bhd, YTL Corp Bhd and Sunway Construction Sdn Bhd.

The TMP, prepared by Halcrow Consultants Sdn Bhd, AJC Planning and Singapore Cruise Centre Pte Ltd in 2012, recommends highway improvements, policy changes and public transport to improve traffic condition in the state.

Guan Eng said it is the state’s “big bang” approach because the state can no longer wait for the federal government to hand over the licence for a public transport system despite numerous appeals.

“Since they refused to give us [the] licence, we [have] embarked on this innovative method to have an open tender, with the winning bidder tasked with seeking the licence,” he said.

Earlier this month, Guan Eng said bidding companies that wished to submit their entries via a joint venture or consortium should have a paid-up capital or shareholders’ funds of more than RM500 million in the lead company.

“They must also have a track record of at least two large-scale projects costing at least RM500 million each, currently being undertaken or successfully completed in the last five years.

“They must have a track record of at least one highway or public transport project with a minimum of RM500 million contract value [currently] in progress or successfully completed in the last 10 years,” he added.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on August 29, 2014.


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