RM6.3b Penang undersea tunnel remains on track

GEORGE TOWN: Zenith PMC Sdn Bhd, the main developer of the 6.5km Penang undersea tunnel, said the submission of the RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel feasibility study remains on track despite the termination of a joint venture (JV) agreement with Astral Supreme Bhd.

The JV was terminated after Astral Supreme could not fulfil its obligations as specified in the agreement.

“The termination has not affected the [project’s] timeline. We submitted two trolley-full of reports to the authorities two months ago. Never has there been a study done in such an extensive way,” Zenith PMC chairman Datuk Zarul Ahmad Zulkifli told reporters at Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd’s Hari Raya open house here yesterday.

“The undersea tunnel feasibility study will take about a year to complete as it is an environmentally sensitive issue for which we need to get Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) approval,” he said.

The preliminary study on the design of the tunnel is being conducted by China Railway Construction Co Ltd (CRCC).

“Our next submission will include the preliminary design for the roads and [will be] handed over to the authorities next month,” said Zarul. Construction of the project is expected to begin by 2016.

Besides the 6.5km undersea tunnel, the proposed project also comprises a 12km paired road between Tanjung Bungah and Teluk Bahang, a bypass each between Air Itam and Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu expressway, and between Gurney Drive and Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu expressway.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on August 22, 2014.


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