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Tracking High-Speed Rail deal

KUALA LUMPUR: MMC Corp Bhd, UEM Group Bhd and French transport systems giant Alstom are among 165 local and international firms which have sent their representatives for a briefing on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project in Singapore.

Their solid interest is a sign of oncoming intense competition among the large and small-cap companies for the main contract.
Europe formed the biggest group at the briefing yesterday, which was jointly organised by MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd and Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA).

“We are pleased with the strong interest from companies all over the world for the industry briefing. Following the industry briefing, we will be calling the assets company (AssetsCo) tender by the end of this year, and we look forward to receiving quality bids from various consortia,” said LTA chief executive Ngien Hoon Ping in a joint statement by MyHSR and LTA yesterday.
Image credit : New Straits Times
There were 67 entities from Europe, followed by Malaysia (29), Singapore (25), other Asian countries (21), North America (17) and Australia (6).
Independent economist Dr Suresh Kumar Ramanathan said the strong interest pointed to a stiff competition for the main AssetCo job. 
“There are two criteria: one is safety and the other is the spillover development along the key track line. If companies bidding for it can fulfil the obligations, then the project is on the right track. Bear in mind that safety is vital for rail users as well people living near these stations,” he told NST Business.

He said trying to cut corners on cost for a trade-off with safety would be risky.  Citing Singapore’s mass rapid transit as an example, Suresh said the project had been well planned but there had been a spate of breakdowns lately. 
“This implies that you need someone that has minimal derailment, delays and right-on-time service.”
"We are pleased with the strong interest from companies all over the world for the industry briefing."
By NGIEN HOON PING, Singapore Land Transport Authority chief executive
On the briefing, MyHSR and LTA said 400 participants from across the entire HSR value chain were present.  These included suppliers and integrators of rolling stock and system, network operators, engineering and legal consultants, financiers and investors, operators and construction companies. MyHSR chief executive officer Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal said the HSR was a large transport infrastructure project for both countries and would be implemented in an efficient manner. 

The briefing was to inform the participants on the progress of the project, including indicative tender parameters, procurement processes and the harmonisation of regulatory requirements for the upcoming AssetsCo tender.  It also served as a platform to encourage interested companies to form consortia to participate in the tender. 

“It is essential that we explore all opportunities for innovation to ensure that the project is implemented in the most efficient manner.  The project will be implemented in phases and this current phase focuses on the AssetsCo tender. Other tenders such as the civil and operating company tenders will be developed according to the project timeline and announcements will be made in due course,” said Nur ismal in the statement. 

The AssetsCo is responsible for designing, building, financing and maintaining all rolling stock, as well as designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining all rail assets such as track-work, power, signalling and telecommunications.

“The AssetsCo will also develop and implement a Network Code, to coordinate the system’s network capacity for operations and maintenance needs.  The AssetsCo tender will prioritise safety and security, availability and reliability, proven technology, operations flexibility, customer centric design, value for money, and collaborative project implementation as procurement objectives,” said Nur Ismal. Additional reporting by Farah Adilla 
Source by: 
New Straits Times
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