MALAYSIAN Resources Corporation Bhd (MRCB) has received the nod from the Penang authorities to proceed with construction of the much-awaited transport terminal in the Penang Sentral project.

The RM230 million terminal forms the first phase of the RM2.3 billion integrated Penang Sentral project in Butterworth and is targeted for completion by the end of 2017.

The terminal will be sited on 2.83ha and will connect Penang’s ferry, bus, rail and taxi services, with infrastructure also in place for any other potential public transport service.

“MRCB obtained the development order and building plan approval last month,” said a source, adding that test piling works are being carried out at the project site.

It is learnt that a new temporary bus terminal will be ready by the end of next month to replace the existing one, which will be demolished to facilitate construction work.

Penang Sentral, launched in 2007, is designed to be a mixed-use commercial development and the largest integrated transport hub in the northern region.

It is being developed by MRCB arm Penang Sentral Sdn Bhd.

Subsequent phases will include residential and commercial units, including a hotel and shopping mall.

The terminal is expected to accommodate 180,000 commuters daily, although the first two years of its opening will likely only see about 80,000 commuters a day.

“MRCB will ensure that the transport terminal is completed before it proceeds with its commercial activities,” added the source.