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Malaysian bidding hots up

01 Sep 2003

A DOMESTIC consortium of Malaysia Mining Corp and Gamuda Bhd has submitted a bid to double-track the country's north-south main line. MMC Chief Executive Ismail Shahudin said in mid-July that the companies believed the work could be completed within three years of a contract being signed.

The Malaysian government had already selected China Railway Engineering Corp to double-track the southern 297 km between Seremban and Johor Bahru, and Ircon to upgrade the 339 km from Ipoh to the Thai border at Padang Besar (RG 7.03 p421). The MMC bid of 14·5bn ringgit is reported to be 40% lower than the Ircon and CREC bids. The two groups are understood to have bid around 18bn ringgit for the two projects, compared to the government's target price of 12bn for the civil works. Electrification and signalling contracts would bring the total price to 25bn.

According to Mohd Saleh Sulong, Chairman of local contractor DRB-Hicom which is working with both CREC and Ircon, the Malaysian government awarded a Letter of Intent to Ircon at the beginning of August, and was expected to sign a formal contract before the end of the month.