Malaysia appoints 2 firms to work on changes, cost reductions to KL-Singapore High-Speed Rail project

An artist’s impression of Batu Pahat station on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) line. The HSR project was suspended in September 2018, with Singapore and Malaysia saying its construction would be shelved until the end of May 2020. PHOTO: EDELMAN

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Malaysian company in charge of developing the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) on Friday (June 28) appointed Minconsult and Ernst & Young as its technical advisory consultant (TAC) and commercial advisory consultant (CAC), respectively.

MyHSR Corp said in a statement that the two parties will review proposed changes to the project and further identify cost-reduction options for the Malaysian government.

The HSR project was suspended last September, with the two countries saying its construction would be shelved until the end of May 2020.

Malaysia and Singapore have said they would both "continue to discuss the best way forward for the HSR project with the aim of reducing costs".

MyHSR said on Friday that Minconsult will focus on the engineering aspects of the project "by reviewing and validating the proposed infrastructure design changes within Malaysia".

These would include issues such as the HSR's alignment, stations, and train maintenance facilities.

The original 350km HSR line would cut travel time between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to around 90 minutes, compared with about four hours by car.

In its role, Ernst & Young will be focusing on the project's commercial aspects such as "developing new business models, identifying funding and financing options, updating the ridership forecast, and updating the economic benefits the project will bring to Malaysia", said the statement.

The TAC and CAC were picked through tender exercises that took place between April and June this year.

"The appointment of TAC and CAC is a major step in the effort to develop an affordable KL-SG HSR," MyHSR said, quoting its chief executive officer Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal.

"The solution will be holistic one, it will respect the needs of the Government of Singapore, cognisant of the market expectation of the project sustainability and bankability, and without compromising on service reliability, journey time and safety."

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