KUALA LIPIS – Fajarbaru Builder Group Bhd, a local construction company, is eyeing to secure the maintenance works for the 688-kilometre (km) East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project that will link Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan, in the east coast, to the Klang Valley.
Group Executive Director Eric Kuan Khian Leng said there was potential for huge maintenance contracts that would come with the vast spending being undertaken on rail-related jobs.
Currently, there are over 2,200 km of railway tracks in the country, of which Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) owned more than 80 per cent.
“In view of some RM50 billion that has gone into rail-related infrastructure projects in the last five years, Malaysia is poised to spend a further RM80 billion at least in the next five years.
“We hope both KTMB and Fajarbaru can tap into each other’s expertise and capitalise on the synergistic competencies to keep the rail network well maintained,” Kuan said during the handing over of RM50 million worth of track work machineries to Fajarbaru by its China suppliers, China Jiangsu KTK Locomotive & Rolling Stocks Co Ltd and Gemac Engineering Machinery Co. Ltd. Shunting here today.
The handing over was witnessed by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
At the ground breaking ceremony for the ECRL on Aug 9, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak described the establishment of the link as a ‘game changer’ and ‘mindset changer’ for Malaysia as it would significantly cut travel time to and from the east coast of the peninsula.
The rail journey from the Integrated Transport Terminal in Gombak, Selangor to Kota Bharu, Kelantan was expected to be less than four hours compared with the average eight hours and even up to 12 hours or more.
Costing RM55 billion, the ECRL would be built by a Chinese company, China Communications Construction Company Ltd.
Kuan also said that with the new machineries that would have a shell life of at least 20 years, the company would be able to make further inroads into the construction-maintenance sector.
“This marks the beginning of a transformation and further development for the company in the rail business and gives us a significant competitive advantage in the bidding of new construction and maintenance jobs for rail-related projects in the future,” he added.
Among the machineries received were ballast wagon, flat wagon, crane, ballast cleaning machine, ballast regulator and tamping machine switch tamper that would be used for the construction of the Jerantut, Pahang and Gua Musang railway stations in Kelantan.
On May 5, 2016, Fajarbaru secured a RM259.7 million contract from the Ministry of Transport for the rehabilitation of the railway stations, expected to be completed in 36 months or June 2019. – BERNAMA