KL-Singapore high-speed rail briefing attracts hundreds of potential participants

Around 700 attendees attended the briefing hosted by MyHSR Corporation at the Finance Ministry on July 27 afternoon.


An artist's impression of the Bandar Malaysia High Speed Rail station in Kuala Lumpur. PHOTO: EDELMAN

July 28, 2023

PUTRAJAYA – The briefing for the Request for Information (RFI) exercise for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (KL-SG HSR) received an overwhelming response from representatives from local and international companies, along with a handful of foreign missions.

The Star understands that around 700 attendees attended the briefing hosted by MyHSR Corporation Sdn Bhd (MyHSR Corp) at the Finance Ministry here Thursday (July 27) afternoon.

The briefing provided an overview of the RFI process, including the timeline for local and international firms and consortia to submit concept proposals for the bilateral project based on a public-private partnership model.

During the briefing, MyHSR Corp said the project structure will be based on the Design-Finance-Build-Operate-Transfer (DFBOT) model, and participating firms must show the ability to develop this project with the appropriate technical expertise, resources, and project management capabilities to complete this major infrastructure development within cost and timelines.

Incorporated in 2015, MyHSR Corp is wholly owned by the Minister of Finance (Incorporated) while coming under the supervision of the Transport Ministry as it plays the role of the Malaysian project delivery vehicle for the development and implementation of the project.

Datuk Seri Fauzi Abdul Rahman, chairman of MyHSR Corp said the briefing marked an important step in bringing the project to reality, in line with the aspirations of the government.

“The briefing provided interested companies with the relevant information such as the key components, submission requirements, and evaluation criteria for them to prepare and deliver a comprehensive concept proposal,” he said in a statement on Thursday (July 27).

Equally important is the ability of participating firms to demonstrate their ability to sustainably build and operate the HSR services with realistic commercial expectations including, but not limited to, demand forecast, cost optimisation, revenue diversification (not just for ticket sales), and financial projections.

Additionally, bidders must have the ability to raise the required funding from diverse sources and develop a financially sustainable model that minimises reliance on government funding while ensuring successful project implementation and operations.

Other than providing an overview of the RFI process, MyHSR Corp also presented case studies on the positive impact of HSR development and economic integration in Taiwan, Japan, and China, as well as the HSR journey, embarked upon by the United Kingdom, Thailand, and Indonesia.

“We are optimistic that the KL-SG HSR project is more than just a transportation solution.

“It will form the major backbone between the Klang Valley and the southern corridor of Peninsular Malaysia, spurring developments of key economic centres, intermediates cities, high-value industrial parks, and many more,” Fauzi said.

“Besides stimulating economic recovery following global headwinds and the Covid-19 pandemic, the project will provide a much-needed boost to our construction sector and its supporting ecosystem while creating high-value jobs and generating business opportunities for small to large-scale enterprises,” he added.

Datuk Mohd Nur Ismal Kamal, CEO of MyHSR Corp was pleased with the level of interest shown from potential investors.

“We are truly heartened by the positive response from the industry and look forward to receiving high-quality proposals that can align with the national and regional development plans.

“Participating firms or consortia should include a clear vision and plan that leverages rail connectivity to boost economic growth while ensuring that the sustainability and low-carbon aspects of the system are incorporated,” said Mohd Nur Ismal.

He reiterated that developments of HSR have proven to be growth engines globally, bringing about catalytic development and growth as well as multiplier effects for the benefit of all.

“Worldwide, most HSRs also co-exist with conventional railways and other modes of transport such as highways, spurring and encouraging regional economic development.

“Eventually, passengers and ridership will organise itself into segments based on time, value, and other related factors,” he added.

Other than Malaysian companies, the briefing also saw attendance by industry players from the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, China, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Singapore.

In an immediate response, Datuk Seri Azmi Abdul Aziz, CEO of YTL Construction (Rail Division), said the briefing was very well prepared, with proper and relevant references from all over the world.

“The economic development plan for this HSR will help enhance the participation of foreign investors,” he said to The Star.

Likewise, Farizul Hazli Baharom, CEO of Berjaya Rail Sdn Bhd, also expressed his excitement at this huge opportunity.

“As proven in other developed countries, HSR is able to catalyse associated developments in so many constructive ways.

“On our part, Berjaya Rail is eager to do its share, and we urge more members of the private sector to step up to the challenge,” he said.

The concept proposal stage will start with the distribution of the RFI Documents from Aug 11 upwards, with the closing date for submissions of Nov 15.

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