ECRL owner says project already 14pc completed, awaiting Putrajaya’s decision on review

(MMO) – Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL), the project owner of the 688km East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), said it would continue to provide information for the review of the project as it awaits the federal government’s decision on it.

Its corporate communications department said the ECRL has made 14.33 per cent in the overall progress of its construction, which includes the setting up of base and satellite camps in all eight sections of the project, land acquisition, site clearing and construction of road access to date.

“The construction works for seven tunnels in various parts of the rail alignment in Pahang and Terengganu have commenced with preparatory works for South-east Asia’s longest rail tunnel — the 16.3km Genting tunnel (Bentong-Gombak) expected to begin in November.

“Multiple road access totalling some 95km in length and temporary bridges spanning 1,067m have been constructed at many of the ECRL project sites in the East Coast states,” it said in a statement today.

MRL also said the ECRL was progressing slightly ahead schedule and is on track for completion and operation by mid-2024.

The company also clarified a report by an English-language daily claiming the ECRL contract comes with a clause requiring China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) to nominate a company unrelated to it to buy share percentages of several companies worth millions.

“It is inaccurate and misleading as there is no contract between CCCC and MRL that stipulates this clause and neither does it appear in the loan agreement between MRL and the Export-Import Bank of China.

“Only the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) contract with CCCC and the loan agreement with Export-Import Bank of China is within our purview with regards to the ECRL project as a special purpose vehicle company appointed to oversee the project’s implementation,” the statement said.