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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

(The Edge) China confident about HSR win

We have a competitive advantage over our competitors, says CRIC

KUALA LUMPUR: China Railway International Corp Ltd (CRIC) has expressed confidence that the
Kuala Lumpur-Singapore highspeed rail (HSR) project will be awarded to the Chinese consortium that is bidding for it, given Beijing’s strong track record and engineering talents.

CRIC chairman and deputy chief engineer Yang Zhongmin (pic) said the good diplomatic relationship between Malaysia and China is another factor favouring the Chinese bid.

CRIC is a subsidiary of China Railway Engineering Corp, which is among the eight state-owned corporations in the Chinese consortium that is bidding for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR project.

“I can’t confirm that we will secure the project, but suffice to say that we have a competitive advantage among the other competitors,” Yang told a press conference yesterday after launching the consortium’s China HSR Experience Cube, an exhibition booth, at KL Sentral.

The booth, Yang said, is to allow the Malaysian public to get a feel of the consortium’s technology, and the booth will be on exhibit for the next three months. This is the second exhibition undertaken by China in an eff ort to showcase its technology while bidding for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR project.

Japan and South Korea have also expressed keen interest in the project. South Korea is currently operating a similar “experience cube” in Nu Sentral, a retail mall next to KL Sentral, while Japan held a symposium last July for the same purpose.

Yang said the Chinese consortium is committed to sharing its technological knowledge if it wins the project. But pointing out that that details of the project have yet to be finalised, he said he is therefore not able to provide its estimated cost.

“We haven’t finalised on the rate of return that the consortium is expecting currently,” he said.

“Even in mainland China, our rail projects have their own unique structure and rate of return, so we cannot compare them with [the] Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR.”Yang said China has in the past decade built and operated 22,000km of high speed railways, accounting for more than two-thirds of the global HSR mileage.

“At present, more than 4,500 high-speed trains are running on tracks every day, moving over 4.5 million passengers,” he said.

Through large-scale construction and operation, Yang said China’s HSR has achieved a series of breakthroughs in infrastructure, system, high-speed train, safety and security, integrated transport hub and other core technologies, forming an advanced technology system and accumulating more build-operate experience.

“In particular, the HSR technology and management system to construct and operate under different geological and climate conditions were established while tackling a variety of tough geological and climatic challenges,” he said.

Yang said the Chinese consortium will prioritise safety and reliability in the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore project if it is awarded the contract.

“To this end, we have established 37 surveillance systems, including safety monitoring of trains, environmental monitoring for operation, and natural disasters alarm system of HSR infrastructure, thus securing China’s best HSR operation safety based on adequate facilities and strict operational management mechanism,” he added.

The consortium members, he said, have gained experience through projects in China like the Harbinalian HSR, the Beijing-Shanghai HSR and the Hainan Island-Circling HSR.

The Malaysia and Singapore governments signed an agreement last December for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR project, and hope to appoint a joint development partner (JDP) by early this year. The JDP will provide advice on operational, technical and procurement matters.