Wednesday, August 02, 2006

UEM Group gets 2nd Penang bridge project

UEM Group has been appointed the concessionaire to build, manage, operate and maintain the second Penang bridge, the Prime Minister said.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said in a statement on Aug 2 the Cabinet had approved the second bridge for Penang and construction of the monorail as private finance initiatives (PFIs) under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

He said UEM Group was appointed the concessionaire for the second bridge project because it is a concession holder of the Penang Bridge. The company had extensive expertise and experience in the matter, he said.

As for the monorail project, he said qualified companies will be invited to present their proposal papers for implementation.

Abdullah said the government will carry out research on a Kuala Lumpur-Singapore Bullet Train, another PFI project proposed by a private company.

The government, he said, views positively the proposal for the construction of the Bullet Train but will direct a socio-economic study to be carried out to assess the impact on national interests before the project proceeds.

"Through the PFI, financial risks will be shouldered by the private sector while the government utilises the expertise and efficiency of the sector to carry out complex infrastructure projects such as these.

"The government will provide support and make it easy for parties involved in these projects.

"This also proves the government's commitment to fine-tune privatisation programmes through PFI while encouraging more involvement from the private sector in generating economic growth," he said.


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