98 companies register interest for Singapore - Kuala Lumpur high speed rail project

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98 companies register interest for Singapore - Kuala Lumpur high speed rail project

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Malaysia's Land Public Transport Commission, Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat (SPAD) and Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA) have received 98 submissions in response to the joint request for information (RFI) exercise on the Kuala Lumpur - Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project.

The companies and consortia that have shown interest in the project include entities based in Malaysia, Singapore, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East and North America. To be more specific, a total of 56 teams come from Europe, 14 from East Asia, 13 from Malaysia, 7 from North America, 4 from Singapore, 3 from Oceania, and 1 from Middle East.

In a joint statement, CEO of SPAD, En Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah and CEO of LTA, Mr Chew Men Leong said:

"We are grateful for the strong feedback that the market has provided us on our project. We will study the responses thoroughly and consider how the project's commercial model and procurement approach can be further improved. We are heartened by the support we have received, and look forward to our continued partnership with the private sector to deliver this exciting and iconic project."

According to the statement released by the authorities, the governments of Malaysia and Singapore expect to finalize the commercial model and procurement approach of the project by next year. 

Construction works are expected to begin by 2017 and the project is expected to be operational by 2022.

The 400 km HSR link is seen as a strategic development in bilateral relations that will improve the connectivity between Malaysia and Singapore. With terminus stations in Kuala Lumpur's Bandar Malaysia and Singapore's Jurong East, the HSR link aims to cut the travel time between the two cities to 90 minutes. The project will request the construction of a brand-new line with dedicated tracks, which will allow trains to travel at least 550 km/h.

The total project investment is estimated at MYR40 billion (US$9.38 billion).

The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR link was first announced by Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Malaysia-Singapore Leaders' Retreat in February 2013. Later, in October 2015, we reported that SAPD and LTA jointly launched a request for information (RFI) from interested parties to develop the project.

We have recently reported on several rail PPP projects globally:

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