Saturday, April 30, 2011

Penang’s third link in the pipeline


The Star 30 April 2011

GEORGE TOWN: With the Second Penang bridge project almost 50% complete, Penang has turned its sights towards a proposed third link a Penang-Butterworth sea tunnel.
The 6.5km tunnel, proposed by the Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG), will connect Gurney Drive on Penang island and Bagan Ajam in North Seberang Prai.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the project stemmed from a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between BUCG and the state government signed in Putrajaya on Thursday.
It was one of eight agreements signed between Malaysia and China in the presence of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Chinese premier Wen Jiabao.
Lim said BUCG is an established (state-owned) company in China whose projects included the Bird's Nest Olympic stadium in Beijing.
“To get the attention of such a company is a vote of confidence from China on the re-emergence of Penang as a premier location of choice for investors,” he said after the opening of the state assembly sitting byYang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas here yesterday.
Central Seberang Prai district is currently connected to the island via the Penang Bridge; while the South Seberang Prai district will be connected to Batu Maung on the island by the 24km second link due for completion in November 2013.
“The state is intent on pursuing this (third link) as it will place Penang on a strong and firm footing for the next 20 years,” he said.
Lim added the proposed tunnel would bring economic development to North Seberang Prai, Kepala Batas and Tasek Gelugor along with cutting down traffic congestion in the state.
He said the proposed tunnel would be connected to a previously announced 4.2km road linking Gurney Drive to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway.
The proposed bypass, along with another 4.6km tunnel road linking Air Itam to the same expressway, has been estimated to cost around RM4bil.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ria Pertiwi to develop living facilities for UUM

28 Apr 2011

Ria Pertiwi Sdn Bhd today signed a memorandum of understanding with Uniutama Holdings Sdn Bhd to develop accommodation facilities for Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)'s international students.

The proposed development, estimated to cost about RM100 million, is planned over a 13.35 hectare site near UUM's main campus in Sintok, Kedah.

Ria Pertiwi Executive Chairman Datuk Ahmad Faizal Datuk Wira Jaafar said the project was expected to commence construction in July and be completed within 24 months.

"A two acre park, which will be planted with local fruits, will become a unique feature at the facility," he said after the signing ceremony today.

The development will include nine blocks of furnished apartment type hostels for 2,000 students, a multi-purpose hall, cafeteria, surau, student centre and sports facilities.

Under the agreement, Uniutama, which has a 25-year concession to design, build, operate and lease the project, will transfer the concession rights to Ria Pertiwi to build the facility, upon the  approval of UUM. - Bernama

(Quick check: Cost per student is RM50k. If break-even period is 10 years, rental is RM5k/yr i.e. RM500 per month per student, assuming 10 months occupancy in a year. If apartment is designed for 3 students, rental per apartment is RM1,500 per month)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Additional criteria for MRT project?

Excerpts from an article in The Malaysian Insider on additional criteria for MRT project: 
- start of excerpt - ...said that Prasarana had on March 30 this year come out with additional criteria for the project, ...The criteria, according to ... were:
• contractors taking part in the project tender are forbidden from forming joint ventures or consortium;
• companies of contractors are forbidden from forming any joint ventures with foreign companies in the tender of the project;
•The formation of a consortium of two or more companies is strictly forbidden; -end of excerpt-

KL-Kuala Selangor highway to open soon

The Star

Friday April 22, 2011

PETALING JAYA: The KL-Kuala Selangor Expressway (LATAR Expressway) project, which links Templer’s Park, Gombak, with Ijok, Kuala Selangor, is almost completed, possibly to be opened by the middle of this year.
The 33km dual carriageway expressway will be the alternative link road to the present Jalan Sungai Buloh–Kuala Selangor (Federal Road 54) route.
Concessionaire KL-Kuala Selangor Expressway Bhd (KLSEB) said in a statement yesterday that the LATAR Expressway features four interchanges and three toll plazas on each side of the expressway.
It links areas such as Kuala Selangor, Assam Jawa, Ijok, Batang Berjuntai, Kota Puteri, Puncak Alam, Shah Alam, Bukit Jelutong, Sungai Buloh, Kundang, Rawang and Selayang.
A non-congested drive on the expressway is said to take 18 minutes from end-to-end.
Construction of the LATAR Expressway began in October 2008, with the concession awarded to KLSEB for a period of 40 years.
The turnkey contractor is Mudajaya Holdings Bhd, which was awarded a contract valued at RM958mil for the expressway.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hochtief management exodus as ACS tightens grip

Copyright AFP,2011 | Apr 19, 2011

German construction group Hochtief said Monday its finance chief was following the chief executive out of the door as Spain's ACS tightens its grip in a hostile takeover.

Burkhard Lohr will leave the company after almost 20 years in October, Hochtief said in a statement. Last week it said chief executive Herbert Luetkestratkoetter would step down in May.

Luetkestratkoetter opposed a hostile takeover bid by Spanish giant ACS, owned by Spanish billionaire and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, to create Europe's biggest construction group.

Despite Luetkestratkoetter's wish for Hochtief to remain independent, ACS has built up its stake to almost 40 percent and aims to own more than 50 percent.

Last week Hochtief, which generates only around 10 percent of its business in Germany, slashed its 2011 forecasts after a profit warning from Australian unit Leighton.

Concessionaire: Second bridge will be completed by November 2013

By JOSEPHINE JALLEH | Apr 19, 2011

The second Penang Bridge is 47.55% completed as of March.

The project is however 2.85% behind the 50.4% scheduled progress.

State Public Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng said concession holder Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd (JKSB) had assured the state government that it would catch up with the scheduled completion of the 24km bridge slated for November 2013.

Construction works on the bridge started in late November 2008.

Lim also said over 700 workers were working round the clock at the United Engineers Malaysia (UEM) segmental box girder plant in Batu Kawan to produce 8,092 units of segmental box girders for the bridge.

“They have already moulded 987 units. A total of 28 units are already fixed on-site out in the sea with 14 of them on each side of the bridge.

“Besides that, piling works are 84% completed while the building of pile caps and columns are 55% and 45% completed respectively,” he said during a visit to the plant yesterday.

Lim added that the two toll plaza buildings, to be located in Batu Kawan, were still on the design board.

“We will also implement a green concept for the package to be environmental friendly,” he added. Buildcast Sdn Bhd (a wholly-owned subsidiary of UEM Builders Bhd) production manager Anuar Abdul said there were 22 moulds and three factories at the segment casting plant. “Between 12 and 14 pieces of segmental box girders are produced in a day and the process is a tedious one,” he said.

The RM4.5bil second bridge project comprises three main packages — 
  • construction of the sub-structure by CHEC Construction Sdn Bhd (the local arm of China Harbour Engineering Co Ltd), 
  • casting of the segmental box girder by UEM Builders Bhd, and 
  • construction of the Batu Kawan and Batu Maung exit and entry points and trumpet interchange by Cergas Murni, IJM Construction and HRA Teguh.

The bridge, which will link Batu Kawan in Seberang Prai to Batu Maung on Penang island, is poised to be the longest bridge in the country and Southeast Asia.

Raffles Campus for Iskandar

20 April 2011

JOHOR BARU: Johor will have a state-of-the-art international school, with a first batch of 2,000 students when it is completed in the third quarter of 2013.

The aim of the international school, a joint venture between Raffles Campus Pte Ltd and property developer Seri Alam Properties Sdn Bhd, is to see a gradual drop in the number of parents in the southern city sending their children to study in Singapore. Seri Alam is a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Malayan Land Bhd (UMLand).

"It is pitiful to see children having to wake up as early as 4am to go across the Causeway to study," said Raffles Campus chairman and chief executive officer Ng Boon Yew at the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with UMLand group chief executive officer Pee Tong Lim at the Galleria Seri Alam in Bandar Seri Alam here on Monday.

The MOU signing was witnessed by the consul-general of Singapore Lim Hong Huai and Johor State Investment Centre (JSIC) general manager Mohamed Basir Mohamed Sali.

Ng said when he was approached about the project by the JSIC about six months ago, he was immediately interested considering its proposed site is within the Iskandar Malaysia development corridor.

"We (Raffles Campus) were impressed with Johor's foreign direct investment (FDI) achievement which we were told, raked in 20 per cent of the RM150 billion achieved by Malaysia over the past five years.

"With over RM30 billion, Johor's FDI surpasses that of Selangor and Penang for that period. In 2010 alone, Johor's FDI stood at RM3 billion," Ng said.

He added the RM35 million development will spread over six hectares with a built-up space of 180,000 sq ft. It will span into two to three phases over the next four to five years.

The school will offer international curriculum, infused with Singapore's school curriculum.

Ng said news of a RM1.2 billion new rail system from Woodlands in Singapore to the JB Sentral was another contributing factor to the development of the school.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

MRT proposed for Iskandar Malaysia

Wednesday April 13, 2011

The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: A plan to build a 500km mass rapid transit (MRT) system has been proposed to improve the connectivity within Iskandar Malaysia, according to Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) chief executive Ismail Ibrahim.
“The MRT project will be developed in five or six phases. The first phase is expected to be completed by 2020. The announcement will be made by the Prime Minister if the proposal is accepted,” he said at the Invest Malaysia 2011 yesterday.
He said IRDA planned to build a bus rapid transit (BRT) first and expanded to MRT after that. However, it is still in the planning stage.
“The proposed BRT is about 400km with various phases. The first phase will be about 40km. Connectivity must be established within Iskandar as well as how Iskandar is connected with the outline region, including our neighbour,” he said.
On whether Singapore would extend its MRT to Johor Bahru, Ismail said: “There is actually no discussion with regard to extending the MRT from Singapore to Johor but there has been discussion about wanting to look at connectivity between Johor Baru and Singapore by use of rail, which could be an MRT system. It might so happen to be the same system or it might be a dedicated system.”
IRDA is the regulatory authority mandated to plan, promote and facilitate the development of Iskandar Malaysia into a strong and sustainable metropolis of international standing.
Ismail said Iskandar Malaysia was targeted to attract investments of RM13bil annually into the region, with a target of RM73bil in the next five years following the completion of key infrastructure education and tourism projects by 2012.
He said Iskandar Malaysia had recorded a total investment of RM69.4bil as at December last year and the total had grown to RM73bil as at the first quarter of this year.
“Iskandar Malaysia has moved into Phase 2 of Iskandar Malaysia Compre-hensive Development Plan (2006-2025) with the completion and deliveries of major infrastructure and iconic investment projects, recording RM28bil at end of 2010,” he said.
Meanwhile, Iskandar Investment Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim said the launch of Iskandar Investment's pioneering catalytic developments beginning 2011 would accelerate the inflow of investment in projects and human capital development into Iskandar Malaysia.
“This will contribute not only to Malaysia's expected growth of 5% to 6% in real gross domestic product in 2011, but also support our nation's aspirations of becoming a high income nation by 2020,” he said in a statement.

Monday, April 11, 2011

RM2.94bil worth of properties will be launched in Penang this year

Monday April 11, 2011


GEORGE TOWN: Some RM2.94bil worth of residential and commercial properties from six developers, based in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, will be launched on the island this year.
The south and south-west of the island will see some 1,275 units of residential and commercial properties launched with an estimated gross sales value (GSV) of RM1.45bil, while the north-east district will see the development of about 1,166 units of properties valued at RM1.49bil.
The commercial component in the south and south-west district is about 156 units with a GSV of RM221mil.
In the north-east, the commercial component will comprise 308 units of serviced suites and shop lots with a gross sales value of RM160mil.
Mah Sing Group BhdIJM Land BhdSP Setia BhdIdeal Property Development Sdn Bhd and Wabina Holdings Sdn Bhd are some of the developers that have drawn up plans for new launches this year.
In the south-west, Penang-based Ideal Property Development Sdn Bhd is launching the most projects this year with a combined estimated gross sales value of RM793mil.
Its projects in Bayan Lepas include the RM295mil Fiera Vista, comprising 470-unit condominiums;the RM250mil Valencia Park bungalow scheme, comprising 142 detached houses; and the RM248mil Taipan, a mixed development project comprising 75 shop lots (GSV RM149mil) and 75 semi-detached houses (GSV RM99mil).
“Both Fiera Vista and Valencia Park will be launched in July or August, while the Taipan will be launched in October,” Ideal Property managing director Datuk Alex Ooi said.
IJM Land is launching in June the RM300mil Light Collection III, comprising 150-unit condominiums next to the Penang Bridge, and the RM113mil The Address in Bukit Jambul comprising 148 low and high-rise condominiums in September.
For the commercial market, IJM Land is launching in the second half of 2011 the RM72mil Pearl Regency, comprising 81 retail lots, for its Metro-East mixed development scheme, near the Penang Bridge.
SP Setia Bhd's key project in the south-west district this year is the RM120mil Pearl Villas, comprising 35 bungalows, to be launched in April.
Wabina Holdings Sdn Bhd is introducing the first high-end condominium scheme, the RM50mil Pavilion Tower, comprising 99 condominiums in Teluk Kumbar, south-west district of the island.
In the north-east district, Mah Sing is undertaking the development of the Icon Residence at Burma Road and Batu Ferringhi Residence in Batu Ferringhi, which have a combined GSV of over RM1bil.
The group's spokesman said the RM280mil Icon Residence, comprising 280-unit condominiums with built-up areas ranging from 1,400 sq ft to 2,500 sq ft, would be unveiled in the second half of 2011.
The units are tentatively priced from RM770,000.
At the same time, the group will also introduce the RM800mil Batu Ferringhi Residence, which will comprise over 500 semi-detached houses and bungalows.
“There will also be condominiums with built-up areas of between 850 sq ft and 1,800 sq ft, priced from RM468,800,” he said.
SP Setia Property (North) general manager S. Rajoo said the group would launch the RM65mil Brooks Residences, comprising 11 bungalows, and the RM188mil Setia V Residence, comprising 67 units, in Kelawei Road, near Gurney Drive.
The projects would be launched respectively in July and September.
IJM Land is expected to launch the RM160mil Maritimes project, a commercial scheme which will comprise 240 serviced suites and 68 shop-lots.

About Me

A seeker of success (whatever that means) treading on a path, searching, to return to the wholesomeness that was him when he was launched into this big school called Earth.