Over 1,000 Malaysian construction companies are eyeing the 40 percent civil works portion of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project following an exercise to identify subcontractors, ECRL project owner Malaysia Rail Link (MRL) said on Wednesday.
A total of 1,321 companies registered with the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) had made submissions to prime ECRL contractor China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) over the two-day exercise in May, MRL said in a statement.
The submissions included a large number of Bumiputera companies, owned by the country's majority ethnic Malays, whose participation in key economic projects is prioritized by the government.
MRL Chief Executive Officer Darwis Abdul Razak said a large number of submissions demonstrates their willingness and capabilities to participate in mega infrastructure projects.
"We also hope that ECRL project will be an exemplary government project that demonstrates the capabilities of our local contractors to work with an international contractor in carrying out and meeting the high standards of a large-scale infrastructure project.
"With the participation of local contractors, this will not just act as (a) stimulus to the local construction sector but will also serve as a catalyst in the transfer of knowledge and technology in view of the ECRL project to be among the most challenging engineering and construction projects in Malaysia," Darwis added.
CCCC managing director Bai Yinzhan said he hoped that Malaysian companies would benefit from participating in the ECRL and that a high degree of local involvement would benefit these companies.
"As such, we hope that Malaysian local contractors would highly benefit from the cooperation and sharing of knowledge and technology that will, in the end, maximize the commercial impact of the Malaysian government's investment by increasing the competitiveness and also improvements in the quality of products and services provided by the Malaysian contractors," Bai said.
MRL will work closely with CCCC in evaluating and shortlisting the submissions for ECRL tenders related to the civil works package and successful participants will be notified by CCCC, it said.
The ECRL will be an electric railway line spanning 640 km across the country, carrying passengers at high speed and freight cargo, with construction expected to be completed by 2026.