May 16, 2016

    Chinese group lays tracks to bid for KL-S'pore high-speed train


    A CHINESE consortium is preparing to bid for the high-speed project linking Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, a source with China Communications Construction Group said on Friday.

    The source in Beijing-based CCCG, a major construction enterprise of transport infrastructure and dredging projects, said consortium members are discussing details on how to carry out the project.

    Sheng Guangzu, general manager of China Railway Corp, the leading company in the consortium, said it would also involve another five companies, including China Harbor Engineering Company.

    The subsidiary of CCCG will start a three-day visit starting from May 23 to Malaysia to push for the project.

    In March, China Railway announced it was investing US$2 billion (S$2.7 billion) to build a regional centre in Bandar Malaysia, near the proposed site for the terminal of the line.

    The 350km railway line, the first high-speed rail project in South-east Asia, has also attracted Japan's Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Germany's Siemens and French company Alstom.

    When constructed, the entire trip will take two hours with the train travelling at an average of about 330kmh.

    Experts said on Friday that the Chinese consortium would have the upper hand in bidding for the project, especially after China Railway's acquisition of stakes in Bandar Malaysia, a transit hub, and the terminal of the proposed project.

    State fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad agreed to sell 60 per cent of its property project in Bandar Malaysia to China Railway to ease its debt burden earlier this year.

    Liang Haoguang, head of Capital Development Institute of China, said the country's railway and construction companies have an edge over its rivals in terms of technology and project costs.

    China is home to the world's longest and most modern high-speed rail system with over 19,000km of track.