Saturday 11 July 2020

Penang Transport Master Plan

Previously we heard about Consortium Zenith, now it is Gamuda. Who is actually "in charge" of the multi-billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP)?

PTMP first started in 2009 after a change in state government to replace the rejected Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) project by previous government.

PTMP has 3 components:

Public transport
  • Bayan Lepas LRT
  • Air Itam Monorail
  • Tanjung Tokong Monorail
  • Georgetown Tram
  • Raja Uda - Bukit Mertajam Monorail
  • BRT (Bus Rapid Transit)
Highways & Roads
  • Pan Island Link (PIL) 1
  • PIL 2/2A
  • BKE - PLUS Interchange
  • Juru - PLUS Interchange
Penang Major Roads & Third Link (PMRT)
  • North Coastal Paired Road (Tanjung Bungah - Teluk Bahang)
  • Air Itam - LCE bypass
  • Gurney - LCE bypass
  • Penang Third Link (Undersea Tunnel)

PTMP is not a dead project. It has already started with PMRT, which consists of 3 major roads & an undersea tunnel third link. This RM6.3 billion project was awarded in 2013 to Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZC) which is not a listed company. 

However, Vertice Bhd which is a listed company, has 13.21% stake in CZC.

CZC has awarded its first contract in Sep 2018 to a joint-venture company Buildmarque Construction which is 50:50 owned by Vertice and Vizione, another listed company.

This Package 2 PMRT contract involves a 6.0km Air Itam - Lebuhraya Lim Chong Eu bypass. It is worth RM815mil and will be completed within 36 months in year 2023. There is a 4.2km elevated portion but no tunnel.

Groundbreaking has been carried out in Nov 2019 and early works are reported to have started in the first quarter of 2020. However, due to Covid-19, the work will be postponed towards end of 2020.

Recently we read that Gamuda has been confirmed to be the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) of PTMP. This PDP is actually SRS Consortium Sdn Bhd led by Gamuda (60%), Loh Phoy Yen Holdings Sdn Bhd (20%) and Ideal Property Development Sdn Bhd (20%).

Ideal Property Development Sdn Bhd should be related to listed company Ideal United Bintang. However, I can't find its name in IUB's subsidiary list, so it might not be a listed company.

SRS Consortium has already been appointed PDP of PTMP since 2015, so this is not a fresh news. It's reported that Gamuda (or SRS?) will be paid a fee of 5-5.75% base on the project cost which is estimated to be RM46 billion.

So there are 2 PDPs in PTMP, CZC gets the small portion in PMRT while SRS gets a big chunk of it.

For SRS, the first 2 priority projects should be the Bayan Lepas LRT and PIL 1 Highway.

The LRT line from Georgetown to Bayan Lepas is about 30km in length with 27 stations. Its estimated cost is RM8.4bil.

The 19.5km PIL 1 links Gurney Drive to Bayan Lepas and may cost as much as RM7.5bil. The relatively high cost is due to the presence of 10km tunnel.

PMRT by CZC will be funded by land swap deal at Bandar Tanjung Pinang, while sales of land in the 3 man-made islands in Penang South Reclamation project will be used to partly fund the SRS projects.

I read that the LRT, PIL & south reclamation projects are not officially approved yet, perhaps due to a sudden change in the federal government. These projects are subjected to objection by some locals as well, especially Penang South Reclamation. 

Even though not exactly part of the PTMP, this reclamation project should also be implemented early as the sale of industrial lands in Island A is essential to fund the LRT & PIL.

Once green light is obtained, RM15 billion worth of construction contracts will be handed out. I think this is the largest construction project I've ever seen in Penang. Previous second bridge construction cost was RM4.5 billion.

PTMP will certainly help to stir up construction sector and its related industries such as steel, concrete and construction materials. 

As a Penangite, I hope that PTMP can be carried out successfully without further delay.

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