Taipei mayor reiterates at presser IGB win in RM8b project

PETALING JAYA (Oct 31): The mayor of Taipei has officially announced that a consortium led by Malaysia's IGB Corporation Bhd has been given the major task to construct Taiwan's biggest urban project — Taipei Twin Towers — that cost about RM8 billion.

This was done at a press conference yesterday (Tuesday) after Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin chaired a city council meeting and held a meeting with the winning developer, according to a Chinese-language statement posted on the website of Taipei City Government today.

Accompanying the statement are photos of the proposed Twin Tower project, the mayor together with his council members.

Hau told the press conference that after a series of selections, the consortium of Malaysian, Japanese and Taiwanese firms — Taipei Gateway International Development Co Ltd — is selected to carry out the project which could bring immense economic benefits to Taipei.

Hau said the Taipei Twin Towers project would create 23,000 jobs in the local construction, real estate and services sectors and he hopes that "construction will start early to spur economic activities in northern Taiwan and the whole of Taiwan".

The project, said to kick off in 2013 and to complete in 2017-2018, comprises two high-rise buildings — one with 56 storeys above ground and the other with 76 storeys — on the site of Taipei's main railway station.

The two buildings, said to be "multi-functional, with housing and shopping malls, office spaces and international hotels", are expected to cover a total floor space of 158,000 sq meters, equivalent to 1.5 times the size of Taipei 101 Building, Taiwan's landmark building. When completed in 2017, the twin towers will serve as the main hub for the Taoyuan airport MRT line to Taipei and five other railway and MRT lines in the capital, according to Taipei Times.

In an email reply to questions raised by today, IGB confirmed its planned involvement in Taipei, but said it has yet to commence negotiations with the Taipei City Government on the terms of the project is has tendered for.

Terence Yeoh, senior general manager (corporate and legal affairs) of IGB, said in the email reply: "IGB, a subsidiary and our Taiwanese partner formed a consortium and submitted a tender for a joint land development investment for an airport MRT system at the Taipei Train Station Special Zones C1 & D1 (Taipei Project) to the Development of Rapid Transit System (DORTS) in May 2012. DORTS is an arm of the Taipei City Government. The consortium subsequently brought on board a Japanese partner.

"The Taipei City mayor announced on Oct 26, 2012 that the consortium was the front runner to secure the Taipei Project. This is not documented in any memorandum/agreement, but what we have is a right to commence negotiations with DORTS on the terms of the agreement.

"We have not yet started negotiations or come to any agreement with DORTS on the terms. As such, we are unfortunately unable to provide any details on the Taipei Project at this time."

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