GEORGE TOWN: A request for proposal (RFP) to develop the 60-acre (24.28ha) Jelutong landfill site into Penang’s first eco-town featuring mixed development will be called next month, with the Penang government hoping to reap some RM2.2 billion from land premiums.
Speaking to The Edge Financial Daily, a government source said the documents are being finalised by the state executive council before the state’s investment arm, Penang Development Corporation (PDC), carries out the RFP.
The source said that the approximate 10-year project also involved the reclamation of about 20 acres of land on either side of the landfill to create a buffer, and reduce erosion and siltation along the coast and an adjacent river mouth. In total, the areas involved come up to 100 acres.
The source said based on land premium earnings, the state could expect to rake in about RM2.2 billion if the rate is set at a minimum of RM500 per sq ft.
The state’s proposed concept and design for the eco-town features affordable housing units, a shopping mall, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions centre, green lung, an artificial public saltwater beach, an optional yachting marina and an iconic structure.
“The state government wants to grow the marina sector here. With more marinas for yachts and boats, it can earn tourist dollars generated from docking fees, ration stocking and re-fuelling facilities,” the source said.
According to him, bidders are allowed to submit their development concept for the site. However, the inclusion of affordable housing units is a pre-requisite for the area.
The source said there would also be three-levels of parking bays underground for buses and lorries — currently parked illegally in housing areas — and private vehicles.
“Within the eco-town above ground, fuel-powered vehicles will be barred. Only electric-powered vehicles and bicycles will be allowed. The state is keen on preserving the safety and environmental aspect of the area,” the source said.
The Jelutong landfill, established in 1992, was the sole sanitary waste dump site for Penang island and was closed in 2002. However, it was later converted into a site for construction and demolition (C&D) waste. Over the decades, the accumulated waste amounting to 12.5 million tonnes grew to a height of 38m, the source said.
The source added that 70% or eight million tonnes of the waste at the site (when bored) consisted of C&D refuse.
Companies interested in participating in the RFP will be encouraged to form consortiums to submit proposals to not only develop the site, but also “harvest” the waste from the site.
The waste is estimated to cost from RM200 million to RM300 million, said the source, adding that consortiums should include experts in urban planning, sea reclamation, construction, and solid waste management.
“All the materials from the site can be recovered and recycled. There are various technologies for harvesting and crushing the C&D waste,” the source added.
As such, the source said that a waste generation policy coupled with a series of dialogues with the manufacturing and construction industries, and the public will be implemented this year to ensure zero waste.
“PDC has also indicated a requirement be added in the RFP urging interested companies to propose an alternative site for C&D waste once the Jelutong landfill is shut down.
“The state has already implemented the organic waste policy, thus the issue now is the question of where the C&D waste goes in the meantime.
“Developers can be asked to crush rocks and cement blocks that can be re-used for pavements.
“The steel bars used for piling can also be recycled. As for wood waste, it can be chipped and used as topsoil for landscaping. Alternatively, developers can engage a company to take the waste out for a fee,” the source said.
When contacted, State Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow confirmed that the documents were being finalised and that PDC will make the announcement in February.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on January 28, 2015.
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