GEORGE TOWN, Sept 2 ― Work on the RM200.3 million Gurney Wharf project is expected to start in the fourth quarter of this year after delays in the project due to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.

State executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo told the Penang state legislative assembly today that the planning permission and building plan for the project was submitted to PLANMalaysia Penang on May 11 and July 15 respectively.

“The planning permission was approved on principle with minor amendments on July 12,” he said in reply to a question regarding the progress of the project by Lee Chun Kit (PH - Pulau Tikus).

The local government, housing and town and country planning committee chairman said the appointed consultants for the project have also submitted an application for approval of landscaping works on July 2 and this is still under consideration.

“The Public Works Department has been appointed as the superintendent officer on August 6 and as a technical adviser for the project since this is a fully funded state social project,” he said.

He said the consultants are preparing a tender document for the project and it is now being finalised.

“The open tender is expected to be called this month,” he said.

He said once the main contractor is appointed through the open tender, works will start by the fourth quarter of this year.

The construction period of the project is expected to take about three years but the state has also added a conditional one year as the defect liability period until the fourth quarter of 2024.

“The whole project is fully funded by the state government at an estimated cost of RM200.3 million,” he said.

The project is divided into two phases where phase one is made up of a children's playground, a skate park, a viewing deck, public toilets, a promenade, hawker kiosks, retail area, convenience stores, surau, refuse centre, a multilevel carpark and a recreational and landscaped park.

Jagdeep said phase one of the project is expected to complete by the fourth quarter of 2022 when it will be open to the public.

As for phase two, he said it consists of a portion of the landscaped and recreational park, additional hawker kiosks, public toilets, carparks and a drainage and irrigation system that is expected to complete by the fourth quarter of 2023.

The state appointed seven consultants that included architects, engineers and an environmental consultant to manage the project.

The Gurney Wharf project is located on a 40 acres site of reclaimed land on the Gurney Drive foreshore.

It is part of the total 131.09 acres of reclaimed land off Gurney Drive that was handed over to the state government progressively.

Reclamation works along the Gurney Drive foreshore started in 2016 and reclamation of 131.09 acres (53ha) of land was completed in September 2019.

The reclamation work was conducted in accordance with a concession agreement signed between the Penang state government and Tanjung Pinang Development Sdn Bhd (TPD), a subsidiary of Eastern & Oriental Berhad.

Under the agreement, TPD was to reclaim the land at its own cost and handover 131.09 acres of reclaimed land along the Gurney foreshore to the state government by December 2022.

In earlier news reports, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow had said the Gurney Wharf project was expected to cost RM176 million.