Foreign firms keen to build major roads in Penang

International contractors from several countries have indicated that they are interested to build four proposed major road projects in Penang.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the contractors were from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea.

He said the state government would invite those interested to bid for the projects via request for proposals (RFP) at the end of the year.

“The RFP will be out at the end of the year. It will take another six months before the contracts can be awarded to the successful bidders,” Lim said in an interview on Friday.

He said the time was needed for the state to evaluate the bids and for the bidders to conduct feasibility studies for the projects.

The proposed projects are the 4.2km Gurney Drive-Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu by-pass, the 4.6km Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu-Bandar Baru Air Itam bypass, the 6.5km Penang-Butterworth Tunnel, and a 12km proposed road connecting Tanjung Bungah and Teluk Bahang.

The Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG) is now carrying out a study for the 6.5km Penang-Butterworth Tunnel project that will connect Gurney Drive on Penang island and Bagan Ajam in north Seberang Prai.

Lim has said earlier that BUCG had stated that they had secured RM10bil in funds should the project move forward.

The Penang-Butterworth Tunnel project stemmed from a memorandum of understanding between BUCG and the state government signed in Putrajaya in April.

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 had earlier also said that while the state welcomed all proposals, the project would be awarded by open tender.

BUCG is an established state-owned company in China whose projects included the Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing. - By The Star

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