KUALA LIPIS, PAHANG: Fajarbaru Builder Group Bhd, which is undertaking railway rehabilitation works for Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) along the Mentakab and Gua Musang stretch, hopes to win sub-contract jobs from the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project.

“The machinery we received today have a shelf life of at least 20 years, which means after the completion of the project in Pahang, we can deploy it for other usage,” said Fajarbaru group executive director Eric Kuan Khian Leng.

“We're definitely eyeing the potential of job packaged that the ECRL offers,” Kuan told reporters at a handover ceremony here today.

Last week, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak officiated the RM55 billion ECRL project at a groundbreaking ceremony in Bandar Baru Kuantan, Pahang.

Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd, an entity owned by the Minister of Finance Inc, is the ECRL project owner while China Communications Construction Company Ltd is the main contractor of the new 688km railway line.

Fajarbaru had today received trackwork machinery from China Jiangsu KTK Locomotive & Rolling Stocks Co Ltd and Gemac Engineering Machinery Co Ltd to be used for Railway Rehabilitation Works along KTMB’s railway.

The handover ceremony was graced by the Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai. He said the RM800 million Gemas-Tumpat railway rehabilitation works, consists of three packages, is slated to be completed by 2020.

“By upgrading this 550km Gemas-Tumpat route from transporting cargo to include passengers, the train will eventually be able run at 90km per hour from the current 60km per hour,” said Liow.

The minister said the government had spent RM400 million to buy 13 sets of four-car diesel multiple units for use by KTMB.

Also present were Transport Ministry deputy secretary general Datuk Chua Kok Ching, KTMB general manager (project management department) Major Abdul Rahman Din, Fajarbaru chairman Datuk Low Keng Kok, Fajarbaru chief operating officer Toh Teong Hock, Gemac Engineering Machinery Co Ltd sales director Cai Ke Rong and Jiangsu KTK Locomotive & Rolling Stocks Co Ltd chief executive officer Ge Jiang Ming.

“We ordered some RM50 million worth of trackwork machineries and they've arrived at our project site here in Kuala Lipis,” said Kuan.

The machineries received include the Jiangsu KTK – Shunting Locomotive (used to transport construction material and ballast), Ballast Wagon (used to transport track ballast), Flat Wagon (used to transport rails and other construction material), Crane Wagon (Flat Wagon equipped with lifting crane for material hoisting).

There are also Ballast Cleaning Machine (used to clean railway track ballast), Ballast Regulator (used to shape and distribute the gravel track ballast), Tamping Machine (used to tamp and line the tracks), Switch Tamper (used to increase ballast density and track stability) and Dynamic Stabiliser (used to improve horizontal resistance of track and stability of track bed).

Kuan said the machinery were procured to facilitate the RM260 million job of Rehabilitation of Track Formation, Replacement of Ballast and Associated Works between Mentakab, Pahang and Gua Musang Railway Station, Kelantan (Package B) that was awarded by KTMB in 2016.

“With these assets, we now have a competitive advantage to bid for construction and maintenance of railway,” he said.

There is more than 2,200km of railway tracks in Malaysia, of which KTMB operates more than 90 per cent of it.

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Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (second from right) at the handover of China rail maintenance machinery to Fajarbaru Builder Group Bhd in Kuala Lipis, Pahang today. Also present were Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd general manager (project management department) Major (Retired) Abdul Rahman Din (left), Fajarbaru Builder Group Bhd group executive director Eric Kuan Khian Leng (second from left), Fajarbaru Builder Group Bhd chairman Datuk Low Keng Kok (third from left) and Kuala Lipis Member of Parliament Datuk Abdul Rahman Mohamad (right). (NSTP Pic by ROSELA ISMAIL)