GEORGE TOWN, Oct 15 — The open tender for the light rail transit (LRT), the Pan Island Link (PIL) and Penang South Reclamation (PSR) projects which are under the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) is expected to be called in the second half (H2) of next year, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

He said the state and its project delivery partner, SRS Consortium, were actually working on the financing architecture of the PTMP.

"The LRT, PIL and PSR are actually bundled together and we would be able to finalise this portion of the works to cumulate the tender exercise probably by the second half of 2020.

"I believe there would be many interested consortium companies keen to take part, so we welcome them to put in their proposals and bids so that the government can choose the best solution and the best financial architecture to help us realise the PTMP project," he told reporters after officiating the Penang Transport Forum 2019 here, today.

However, Chow said it is still too premature to reveal what would be contained in the tender to be called next year.

"I cannot reveal what would be in the tender now, how it would be bundled and how many projects will form a tender. All that has to be worked out in the next few months before we call for the tender," he said.

When asked on how many parties have expressed interest to participate in the PTMP, Chow who is also the Padang Kota assemblyman said the state had received several enquiries from private companies and also banks after receiving the conditional approval from the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) in July this year.

He said the response from various parties who were keen to participate in the PTMP has proven that it is a viable project for the future of the state.

"If the project is not viable, these companies would not come forward, banks would not come forward and they would not form a consortium to arrange financing for the project. All these give us the confidence to move ahead, since it is financially possible to deliver the project," he added.

On July 17, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook announced that the Komtar-Bayan Lepas LRT project as part of the PTMP proposed by the state government had received conditional approval from the ministry.

The proposed LRT project covers 27 stations from Komtar to a reclaimed island that will be developed in the southern part of the state. It will also see the construction of an undersea tunnel and highways, as well as extensive bus connectivity on both the island and mainland. — Bernama