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Still no firm date for Penang tunnel construction

February 20th, 2019 Leave a comment

For illustration only

For illustration only

There is still no indication as to when construction work will start on the PenangUndersea Tunnel project, as the contractor is still waiting for the relevant land to be dredged.

“We are supposed to start in March, but the Penang state government’s land is not ready. Until we receive the land we won’t be able to start work,” said Vertice Bhd executive director Wong Kwai Wah.

Vertice is part of Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZC), which has been awarded a RM6.34 billion integrated infrastructure project that includes the tunnel as well as the construction of three major roads and the development of the Seri Tanjung Penang.

Speaking after Vertice’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM) yesterday, Wong said the group plans to start work on the tunnel once the land that the Penang government has gazetted for the project is ready for construction. This land, situated on Gurney Drive’s foreshore, is currently being reclaimed by Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O).

Wong said the state government can only schedule construction for the tunnel once the land is made ready for construction.

“At the place where they construct, they have to give us sand. So unless the land is ready, we can’t move in as it would be risky for us,” he said.

Wong said based on conversations with E&O before the Chinese New Year, the land should be ready for handover to the state government in June or July.

However, he said the state government has not indicated whether the project’s feasibility study has been concluded, and when the group can start work.

“I think they (state government) are going ahead [with the project], but we suspect they are trying to get the federal government to support them,” Wong said.

He added that any development concerning the project would most likely be concentrated in the second half of this year.

Replying to a question, Wong said the group did not have to seek federal approval for the project. “Actually there are no more approvals [required]. We just want the state to get the land ready,” he said.

The tunnel, which is set to be 7.2km long, is to connect Gurney Drive on Penang island to the mainland.

Both CZC and the Penang government came under heavy criticism under the previous Barisan Nasional-led federal government prior to the 14th general election, which prompted an investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission into the project’s price tag and the RM305 million cost for the roads and tunnel’s feasibility studies. The choice of a tunnel instead of a bridge was also questioned, besides the project’s land-swap funding model.

Vertice, which holds a 13.21% stake in CZC, maintains that the consortium participated in an open tender by the state government and that it competed against 60 rival bids for the megaproject.

Source: EdgeProp.my

 

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  1. YKT
    February 20th, 2019 at 12:41 | #1

    Is Penang always full of all these nonsense – delays this and delays that with all sorts of Ah Pek movements.

  2. polarbear
    February 20th, 2019 at 14:40 | #2

    Penang accomplishes one project, Singapore already accomplished ten….

  3. Penanglang
    February 20th, 2019 at 15:49 | #3

    Hello, hello, wasn’t the contractor China Railway right from the beginning ?
    They even offered to finish the projects first, then only gets paid when Zenith group could monetize the Gurney reclamation land ! Now the whole original contract is altered ?

    The fact is, if without China Railway as the main con how could Zenith won the contract from all the 60 odd competing bidders ???

  4. Internation
    February 20th, 2019 at 17:27 | #4

    This project was awarded long time ago to Zenith partnering China Railway in 2013 !
    By any standard, it would have been at least “half way through” ! How come now still N.A.T.O (No action, talk only) !

  5. Gabriel
    February 21st, 2019 at 10:28 | #5

    Corruption?

  6. YKT
    February 21st, 2019 at 15:43 | #6

    @Penanglang
    Now where is China Railway ? “Sok Sah” ? Or Kicked out after being made use of ?
    Incredible !

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