Malaysia's ECRL rail mega-project reaches 13% progress rate, says official

 Works being carried out to dig a tunnel for the East Coast Rail Line project Section 4.
Works being carried out to dig a tunnel for the East Coast Rail Line project Section 4.PHOTO: BERNAMA

KOTA BARU (BERNAMA) - Malaysia's East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) has reached a progress rate of 13 per cent, according to an official involved in the RM55 billion (S$18.6 billion) mega-project.

The project is being undertaken by Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd Head (MRL) and China Communications Construction Company (CCCC).

MRL's head of planning Mohd Nizam Daut said the task of completing eight sections of the ECRL involves 2,700 workers.

Five hundred of these workers are focused on completing Phase One of the project involving routes in Kelantan involving the route covering the areas of Kota Baru, Jelawat in Bachok and Tok Bali in Pasir Puteh.

Mr Mohd Nizam said no critical issues were faced by the MRL during the implementation of the project so far, with the land acquisition and resettlement plans completed.

He was speaking to reporters after visiting the Kota Baru ECRL station construction site in Bandar Baharu Tunjung near the Kelantan capital on Monday.

MRL is a special purpose company under the Minister of Finance Incorporated which is the project's owner.

The project is expected to be completed in June 2024.

Meanwhile, Malaysia's International Trade Minister Mustapa Mohamed when met on Monday said the ECRL project would bring about positive impact in the creation of job opportunities and in boosting the economy.

The ECRL has estimated the creation of 3,000 new jobs once it is completed.

The project is also expected to bring closer ties between the states where the line passes through and boost their economic activities, said Datuk Seri Mustapa who is also Kelantan Federal Action Council chairman.

From Selangor state, the ECRL will pass through Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan.

Last month, MRL's head of construction Noor Azlan Salleh said tender for the project's infrastructure works, valued at several billion ringgit, will be opened in April in stages.

At least 30 per cent of the civil works packages, excluding tunnel works, is earmarked for local firms, though China's state-owned CCCC has been awarded the RM55bil ECRL project, The Star newspaper reported.