Strong foreign interest in HSR tender

THE call for a tender by Malaysia and Singapore to appoint assets company (AssetsCo) for its Kuala Lumpur–Singapore high speed rail (KL-Singapore HSR) project has gained interest from many countries, especially from Japan and China, the Malaysian Reserve reports.

Four more bids are expected to be evaluated for the project before the closing date on June 29, 2018.

“China and Japan have shown their support for the tender. China companies have openly announced that they are keen to participate in this project, while Japan has so far confirmed its participation,” Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said.

Liow said that there is still time for interested companies to submit proposals for the project. As such, there is no confirmation regarding the winner at the moment.

Even with strong competition from China, Japan expects to have a good chance of winning the tender with its technology and experience with the Shinkansen, the longest-serving HSR system in the country, which started operations in 1964.

“The system is also in the process of being adopted by India, Thailand and the US, while already operational in Taiwan,” said Japan’s Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Makio Miyagawa in a recent radio interview.

“We would also like to intensify human capital development alongside the transfer of technology to Malaysia and Singapore, and as this also enhances our chances of winning the bid for the KL-Singapore HSR,” he added.

The project delivery partner and upcoming AssetsCo tenders include two major procurement exercises at the current stage of the US$11 billion (RM42.87 billion) project.

The AssetsCo will be responsible for designing, building, financing and maintaining all rolling stock, as well as designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining all rail assets (eg trackwork, power, signalling and telecommunications) for the HSR.

It will also coordinate the system’s network capacity for operations and maintenance needs. — Construction+ Online