Minister: No go for second phase of Klang Valley Double Track project

Loke said a new tender will be called, but did not give a timeframe as to when this would be carried out. ― Picture by Razak Ghazali
Loke said a new tender will be called, but did not give a timeframe as to when this would be carried out. ― Picture by Razak Ghazali

PUTRAJAYA, June 14 — The second phase of the Klang Valley Double Track (KVDT) rail upgrade project will not be carried out for now, Transport Minister Anthony Loke has said.

The Star quoted Loke as saying that the timing of the project’s tender was questionable, given that it was awarded just days before GE14.

He also said that the project’s cost was too high at RM5.9 billion.

“The completion period given to the contractor was long and it was given out through direct negotiations. There was no open tender for the project.

“For now, it is a no-go for this particular tender,” Loke reportedly said.

Loke said a new tender will be called, but did not give a timeframe as to when this would be carried out.

He added that Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) has expressed the need for the second phase to be implemented because the current track is unsustainable.

“But financially, the government has no means to support it. So, we will have to find out how to go about it,” Loke said in the interview.

The second phase of the KVDT project involves 110km of railway tracks spanning from the KL station to Klang, Salak South to Seremban and Simpang Port Klang to Port Klang.

It was awarded to DMIA Engineering in partnership with Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) at a cost of RM5.9 billion to be implemented over seven years. DMIA Engineering is also the contractor for phase one that is behind schedule.

“The cost is too high and it works out to RM53 million per kilometre. The whole project is about 110km and there are no new buildings or stations involved, just the track and signalling.

“We were told the cost is even higher than the Gemas to Johor Baru double-tracking project, which has new stations and tracks,” Loke said.

“We were told it would take seven years to complete phase two. Can you imagine if we agreed to seven years... there would be delays in services.”

In terms of phase one, Loke said the project was 60 per cent complete. However, he said that he had been told there would be a three-month delay in the completion to sometime in 2019.

The first phase covered upgrading of systems work between Rawang and Seremban, and from Sentul to Port Klang, involving about 150km at a cost of RM1.3 billion awarded to DMIA Engineering.

On the MRT2 and LRT3 projects, the transport minister said they would proceed as planned, as they were ongoing projects implemented well in advance.

“The MRT2 is an ongoing project. We won’t touch it and the same goes for the LRT3. However, in terms of costing and so on, they may be reviewed by the Finance Ministry. It is up to them to decide,” he added.

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