|RM6-7 billion for LRT extensions|
|Business & Market 2009|
|Monday, 14 September 2009 15:29|
Its group managing director Datuk Idrose Mohamed said Prasarana expected to call for pre-qualification tenders next month for the civil construction works and have the extensions up and running by 2012.
“We will have a better idea (of when construction work will begin in earnest) when we receive the final approval from the ministry of transport, which is expected to be known after the public display has concluded in December.
“But once the approvals have been given, we are targeting to complete the extensions in three years,” he said. Prasarana is the sole asset holder for the entire Klang Valley and Penang public transport systems.
The display of the proposed alignment for the extension of the two lines — Kelana Jaya (formerly Putra) and Ampang (formerly STAR) — begins today and runs till Dec 15. During this period, the public is invited to give their feedback, which will be channelled to the Department of Railways which comes under the transport ministry.
A clearer picture of the cost of the extensions would only emerge after that, according to Idrose. Asked if Prasarana had determined exactly how the works would be parcelled out, Idrose said this has yet to be determined.
“It will depend on the public feedback. It is only then that we will have a better idea of the problem areas,” he said. However, if there were any changes to the alignment, it could result in delay in starting work.
Prasarana has already started tendering out some of the advance works, which include the relocation of utility cables. According to its website, Prasarana’s most recent tender for the Ampang line was for the design, supply, delivery, test and commissioning of 378 units of new auxiliary inverters for 30 train sets.
Prasarana is also looking to add 13 new six-car train sets to the Ampang line’s existing fleet and 35 four-car train sets for the Kelana Jaya line.
For the latter, the cars have been ordered given that the line runs on Canadian company Bombardier’s proprietary system. However, Idrose said this might not be the case for the Ampang line.
“It is not necessary that the new trains for the Ampang line be Bombardier,” he said. At the moment, while the Kelana Jaya line is fully utilised, the Ampang line’s utilisation is only around 70%. As such, there is no pressing need for new trains for the Ampang line.
“But we are expecting this to change. At the moment, around 350,000 people use the LRT lines, with 180,000 using the Kelana Jaya line and 170,000 the Ampang line. Once we get the new train sets, we are projecting that capacity on the Kelana Jaya line will increase to 400,000,” said Idrose.
Asked about the government’s proposed new line that was expected to link Kota Damansara and Cheras, Idrose declined to reveal the details, except to say that the line could run longer than that. He said more would be revealed in November.
Prasarana has already raised RM2 billion through an Islamic bond issue which was more than three times oversubscribed.
Idrose said Prasarana was looking to raise an additional RM2 billion, also via Islamic bonds, sometime next year, but that this would depend on Prasarana’s needs and the prevailing market conditions.
The Kelana Jaya extension line will start from Kelana Jaya and run 17km through 13 stations from Subang Jaya to Putra Heights. The Ampang extension line will start from Sri Petaling and run 17.7km through 13 stations passing through Kinrara, Puchong and ending at Putra Heights.
The display of the proposed alignment will be held at five venues — the Department of Railways (ministry of transport), Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur, Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya, Majlis Perbandaran Subang Jaya and Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam.
This article appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, September 15, 2009.