Thursday, July 21, 2011

Manager from Singapore for MRT project

Prasarana to have manager from Singapore for MRT project (The Star)

Thursday July 21, 2011

By Sharidan M. Ali

PETALING JAYA: A high-ranking individual from Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) will soon be hired to play an active role in the project management of the planned multi-billion-ringgit mass rapid transit (MRT) system in Malaysia, sources said.

According to sources, the official is expected to join Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd, the owner of the MRT project, now known as My Rapid Transit.

“The project manager is expected to join Prasarana’s MRT project team and will work with the project delivery partner (PDP), who will manage the construction of the project for Prasarana.

“So the project manager is only an addition to the present Prasarana’s MRT project team,” sources told StarBiz.

Over the weekend, a business weekly had speculated that the MRT would have a new project manager who had been involved in Singapore’s MRT project.

The sources also told StarBiz that the roles of Prasarana, the PDP and Land Public Transport Commission in the project remained intact.

The MRT’s PDP is MMC-Gamuda Joint Venture Sdn Bhd, in which Gamuda Bhd and MMC Corp Bhd hold equal shareholdings and will be responsible for managing the project and its cost.

“The additional person, if any, is just to add more expertise to the implementation of the project and not to take over anybody’s role,” sources said.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the MRT was held early this month and the physical construction is scheduled to begin by the year-end for completion in 2016. The launch revealed the final alignment of the 51km Sungai Buloh-Kajang line, of which 9.5km will be underground. The line will have 31 stations.

The final alignment not only reduced land acquisition cost, has led to better integration with existing rail network and reduced the number of stations, but has also become more cost effective than initially planned.

Although the actual cost of the country’s first MRT system will only be disclosed in September due to a 50% reduction in land acquisition and other tweaks to the initial alignment, estimates have put the price tag for the Sungai Buloh-Kajang line at around RM20bil.