SEBERANG JAYA: Construction works for components of the RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) project will begin within the last quarter of this year or even earlier, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said today.
He said the three projects under SRS Consortium include the light rail transit (LRT) system, the Pan Island Link (PIL) highway or the massive Penang South Reclamation (PSR).
“Depending on the financing model, we may begin construction works either one by another (for the three projects) or concurrently.
“If all goes well, we expect to sign the agreement with the project delivery partner next month. It (the agreement) is currently undergoing vetting.
“So, when it is ready, we will sign it. It is a meticulous and tedious process,” he told newsmen after officiating the ground-breaking ceremony of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) Penang’s new building here today.
He was answering a question by a member of the FMM Penang branch during a luncheon and dialogue session on the progress of the PTMP.
Present were FMM president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lye and FMM Penang branch chairman Datuk Dr Ooi Eng Hock.
The PSR project was mooted by SRS Consortium to create a land bank and fund the multi-billion ringgit PTMP.
In December, Gamuda group managing director Datuk Lin Yun Ling had said that once the new PDP agreement was signed, the design works could start.
He had said that the LRT, the PIL and reclamation work for the south island would take place.
SRS Consortium is a 60:20:20 joint venture among Gamuda, Loh Phoy Yen Holdings Sdn Bhd, and Ideal Property Development Sdn Bhd.
There had been calls by the civil society organisation in the past for the Penang government to do away with the ambitious PTMP, which they deemed heavily contentious and criticised due to its adverse environmental and socio-economic impact.
They had pointed out to the Penang government that a cheaper, better, viable option for the PTMP was available, which does not necessitate building new roads or the LRT scheme.
Chow told those present that Package 2 of Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZC)’s highway project had begun, linking Thean Teik Expressway to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway.
“It is currently in the preliminary work stage and construction can go full steam by April. The funding model is through reclamation, and the reclaimed land off the Gurney coast is expected to be ready in April.
“So, we can see the full implementation by the second half of the last quarter of this year.”
On the Kedah Aerotropolis project, Chow said Penang would continue to give its input on the project through the various forums such as the North Corridor Implementation Authority meeting.
“We hope to get more current information,” he said.
KXP AirportCity Holdings Sdn Bhd had recently appointed Aeroport de Paris Ingenierie (ADPI) to draw up a development masterplan for the Kulim International Airport (KXP) Aerotropolis.
Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir had said that KXP Airportcity had also appointed several competent consultants for several mandatory studies, assessments and evaluation for the project.
“I think the recent signing ceremony is a study more than construction. Let them study. I have said previously that if it is a cargo airport, we have not raised serious objections.
“We have to accept that they (Kedah) have the right to build whatever airport, subject to Federal government approval and of course the financing of it. Just like what we do, I do not think Kedah needs to give us their approval,” Chow said.
Penang had previously raised its reservations towards the KXP project, with Chow seeking assurance from the Federal government that the airport project would not affect the running of the Penang International Airport.