THE project delivery partner for the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), SRS Consortium, will have to prepare and present the financial architecture plan for the PTMP to the Penang government within a month.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the financial architecture plan would enable the state government to view the cost and cash flow of the PTMP projects.
The three main components of the PTMP are the Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit (BL LRT), the Pan Island Link (PIL1 and PIL2A) highways, and the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project. It was reported that the estimated cost of the PTMP projects was RM46 billion.
Chow said the consortium was responsible to come up with RM1.3 billion in bridging finance while the state would have to provide RM1 billion.
“We will study the financial architecture plan before we make a decision. Let us not jump the gun,” Chow told a press conference after signing the project delivery partner master agreement for the PTMP at St Giles The Wembley Hotel in Magazine Road today.
The master agreement was signed by Chow and Gamuda Berhad managing director Datuk Lin Yun Ling. It was witnessed by Penang State Secretary Datuk Abdul Razak Jaafar and SRS Consortium project director Szeto Wai Loong.
The SRS Consortium is a joint venture among Gamuda Berhad, Loh Phoy Yen Holdings Sdn Bhd and Ideal Property Development Sdn Bhd.
Among those who were present at the signing ceremony were Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman, Deputy Chief Minister II Prof Dr P. Ramasamy, state executive council members and state assemblymen.
Chow said that the Penang government did not proceed with the advice given by the then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who proposed to the Penang government to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the issuance of bonds to be guaranteed by the Federal Government.
The advice was given after the Penang government had applied for a RM10 billion Federal funding for the proposed BL LRT project.
“We did not apply for any bond. It was premature at that time.
“Until now, the ‘advice’ has not been withdrawn,” Chow said.
Referring to the proposed PSR project, Chow said the project had captured the interest of industrial players.
“Many industrial players are expressing their interest in ‘Island A’ of the PSR project.
“In view of the current world economic situation and the trade war between China and the United States, industry players and investors are looking beyond China.
“The interest in Penang is very strong,” Chow said.
The PSR is a reclamation project that aims at creating islands totalling about 4,500 acres, off the southern coast of the Penang island.
Chow, in his speech, said that the PTMP projects are viewed as the state’s economic transformation projects for the next 50 years.
“The PSR project will enable the state government to provide quality affordable homes that are connected to an efficient transportation network.
“The entire PTMP is aimed at increasing the public transport ridership in Penang to 40%. The public transport ridership in the state is now at 8%,” he said.
On a separate matter, Chow explained that the proposed Linear Waterfront project in Bayan Lepas – a project owned by the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) – had a different purpose as compared to the PSR.
“The Linear Waterfront project is not meant for industry but for mix development,” he said.
It was reported recently that PDC would be calling for a Request for Proposal (RFP) to reclaim and develop a 150-acre area – between the Queensbay Mall roundabout and the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge.
PDC hoped to create the longest sea-facing promenade in Penang, estimated to be about 8km-long, for people to jog, exercise and cycle. The area will be equipped with comprehensive infrastructure and facilities apart from mixed-development projects.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Ahmad Adil Muhamad
Video by Alissala Thian