THE Department of Environment (DoE) has approved, with conditions, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report of the proposed Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1) project.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state thanked the DoE for their approval which was conveyed to the state via a letter dated April 10.
“In the letter, it was stated that the DoE received the EIA report on Jan 2 and the report undergone detailed scrutiny, review and deliberation by the EIA Technical Review Committee. The committee found that the EIA report fulfilled the requirements of Section 34A (2) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974.”
Chow said that a technical review was done, and a revised EIA report was submitted to the DoE by the consultant through the state.
“The revised EIA report was submitted on March 22 and was approved with 56 conditions,” he told a press conference at his office in Komtar today.
He said that the conditional approval is only valid for two years from the date when the approval letter is issued.
“The project consultant will need to prepare the Environment Management Plan (EMP) to address the 56 conditions imposed.”
The 19.5km-long proposed PIL1 highway will include 7.6km of viaduct sections, four tunnel sections totaling 10.1km in length and a total of 1.8km embankment sections.
The alignment will begin from Gurney Drive to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway near the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone IV. Six interchanges were proposed along the alignment to disperse traffic efficiently.
The proposed PIL1 project is one of the components of the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).
Chow said that the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project would be the financing model for the PTMP.
“The state is still pursuing the relevant approvals for the Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the PSR projects.
“As for the bridging finance, project delivery partner SRS Consortium will come out with part of the bridging finance; while the state government will have to secure our part of the bridging finance to enable the PIL1 project to start.
“I am sure that the PIL1 project will generate a lot of interest. We have been approached by several interested parties even before we secure the EIA approval.
“We will be mulling over their proposals and looking into the financing aspect of the project,” Chow said.
He also said that the cost of the PIL1 project could only be determined when the open tender is called.
A representative from SRS Consortium said that following the EIA report approval, the detailed engineering design process would begin, and it would take about a year to complete.
“This is the stage where we get the approvals from the relevant local authorities such as Public Works Department (JKR), Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) and Penang Island City Council (MBPP).
“We hope to call for an open tender for the Work Package Contractors early next year.
“The construction works for the PIL1 project are expected to begin in July 2020 and completed in June 2026,” he said.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Law Suun Ting
Video by Noor Siti Nabilah Noorazis