Engineering firms eye Penang projects

The high number of sewerage projects planned in the Malaysian state of Penang is likely to attract many construction and engineering companies.

The high number of sewerage projects planned in the Malaysian state of Penang is likely to attract many construction and engineering companies.

Currently at least six major sewerage projects identified in the state under the Eighth Malaysia Plan are valued at more than US$ 263 m. These have yet to be awarded by the federal government but companies have started launching bids.

National sewerage company Indah Water Konsortium Bhd identified at least two new sewerage projects in Penang, including the replacement of old pipes and construction of new sewerage treatment plants (STPs), which could cost at least US$ 132 m each.

With funding from the Japanese Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC), Penang is expected to build two new STPs at Sungai Nyior and Juru which are estimated to cost at least US$ 20 m each. Another two STPs in Bayan Baru and Jelutong are expected to cost US$ 26 m and US$ 158 m. Road Builders, which won the first contract for the Klang Valley, had expressed its interest to bid for the two projects under JBIC.

Analysts report other Malaysian companies including UEM Builders Bhd, KUB Malaysia Bhd, Loh & Loh Corp Bhd, Ho Hup Construction Bhd and Salcon Bhd as possible contenders.

WWE Holdings Bhd, which was initially the front runner to get the contract for the US$ 158-m STP project in Jelutong, is now believed to have competition from at least two other sewerage players, which also submitted bids. Some of these projects were awarded through open tender, but others, such as the US$ 132-m sewerage pipe replacement system, was won through a closed bid.

Sources said Weida Bhd, an integrated pipe manufacturer and installer, was believed to have submitted its proposal for the pipe replacement project, by virtue of its ability as an integrated manufacturer and installer of high-density polyethelene pipes.

Most of the projects outlined in the government plan for Penang are urgent and need to be awarded soon, but funding problems are delaying the announcement of final details.

Analysts believe that the cost was much higher than the total funds allocated for the projects.

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