Wednesday, 11 July 2018

(NST) Prasarana promises to work harder to reduce LRT3 cost

KUALA LUMPUR: Prasarana Malaysia Bhd today said the company is committed to reviewing the overall cost of the Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) project, as directed by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng yesterday.

Its group president and chief executive officer Masnizam Hisham said he acknowledged the statement made by Lim over the increase in the overall cost of the project, now estimated at RM31.45 billion.

“We will work harder to reduce the cost (LRT3).

“Prasarana management has already begun reducing the cost of the LRT3 project since February and will continue to work closely with the Finance Ministry on this matter,” he said in a media statement, here today.

Masnizam said Prasarana has been maintaining its cooperation with project delivery partner, MRCB George Kent Sdn Bhd (MRCBGK) to identify additional opportunities to reduce the cost.

Lim yesterday said the overall cost of the project needed to be drastically reduced to make it feasible and cost-effective.

The minister pointed out that the government would not support any additional funding unless the cost of the project was significantly rationalised without compromising the integrity of the rail network as well as safety and quality of the service provided.

It was reported that in 2015, Prasarana had secured a government guarantee for a RM10 billion bond facility to fund the project.

On March 30 this year, the company requested for an additional RM22 billion in government guarantee to ensure funding for the construction and completion of the project.

The LRT3 aims to connect Bandar Utama to Klang with a total distance of 36km and will comprise 25 new stations.

Construction of the project started in 2016, upon approval from various stakeholders. It is expected to be completed in 2020.