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FAQ for 2019 ECRL

 KEY HIGHLIGHTS

1. What does the new ECRL Project entail?

It is the same as original ECRL Project with some changes to the alignment and design optimization.

2. How much in construction cost savings did the new ECRL Project bring as compared to the previous?

RM21.5 billion (the new project cost of RM44 billion against previous total cost of RM65.5 billion).

3. How did the project arrive at this new figure?

Via a comprehensive value engineering exercise on all technical aspects of the Project which includes a new southern alignment through Negeri Sembilan.

4. How was it possible to see such substantial reduction as compared to the RM66.78 billion construction cost previously?

Comprehensive value engineering exercise has been done on the design and alignment which resulted in an optimized design and a new alignment plus lesser quantity of tunnelling and elevated section to be built.

5. What does the construction payment based on? Does it based on progress or agreed timeline?

Based on progress of works.

6. When will the construction of new ECRL Project be fully completed?

The improved ECRL Project completion date has been revised from June 2024 to December 2026.

7. What will be the travelling time like from Kota Bharu to Putrajaya?

Approximately 4 hours of travelling time.

8. How many stations are there in the new ECRL Project? Which state has the most stations?

There will be 20 stations. Pahang will have the most number of stations at seven (7).

9. Will the new ECRL alignment interface with any existing KTMB alignments or any other rail tracks?

Yes, the ECRL rail network will have three interchange stations:

  1. Putrajaya Sentral – by completion date, ECRL will interchange with Express Rail Link (ERL) to KLIA and KLIA2; and Mass Rapid Transit 2 (MRT2) Sungai Buloh- Serdang- Putrajaya (SSP) line.
  2. Bangi/Kajang– ECRL will interchange with KTM Electric Train Service (ETS) and KTM Komuter service.
  3. Mentakab– ECRL will interchange with KTM Intercity and KTM Kargo service

 

10. What is the role of Malaysia Rail Link (MRL)?

During construction, MRLSB is the 100% project and asset owner of the ECRL rail network. During operation, will be the 100% asset owner of the ECRL rail network. MRLSB will also form a 50:50 joint-venture with CCCC to jointly operate and maintain the rail network.

11. Who is the main contractor for the new ECRL Project?

China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC).

12. Will local contractors be given an opportunity to participate in the new ECRL Project?

Yes.

13. How much is the local contractor’s participation compared to previously?

The involvement of local contractors in civil work  is now increased to 40%. The previous deal had set local participation at 30%.

 

ALIGNMENT

14. What is the total length of this new alignment?

The total length is 640km. (The original length was 688km)

15. What is the rationale of the new alignment now linking Mentakab to Port Klang via Negeri Sembilan instead?

Cultural, heritage and environmental concerns to avoid Klang Gate Quartz Ridge in Gombak. ECRL will no longer have to traverse through the Titiwangsa range in Genting, Pahang or the quartz range in Selangor. Alignment through Negeri Sembilan allows another state and a federal territory to take advantage of the ECRL project.

On top of that, the new alignment via Negeri Sembilan will avoid the construction of the 17.8km long tunnel in Genting which will significantly reduce construction cost for the improved ECRL

16. What are the new stations compared to the previous alignment of 2017? Which stations have been removed?

New stations are Bangi/Kajang, Putrajaya Sentral, Port Klang and two more newly proposed stations to be located in Selangor and Negeri Sembilan each.

Removed stations are Bentong, Gombak North, ITT Gombak, Telaga Papan, Jelawat, Pengkalan Kubor and Wakaf Bahru.

17. What will happen to the Southern Extension (Gombak North-Serendah-Port Klang) in the initial ECRL Project alignment?

The Southern Extension (Gombak North-Serendah-Port Klang) is no longer relevant as the improved ECRL will also run to Port Klang through Bangi-Putrajaya-Port Klang.

18. Why is there a need to scrap the Northern Extension (Kota Bharu-Wakaf Bharu-Pengakalan Kubor) under the initial ECRL Project?

The Northern Extension does not add substantial value to the overall transportation network currently. This Extension could be reviewed in the future.

19. What are some of the challenges in constructing the new alignment along the Mentakab-Port Klang route via Negeri Sembilan and Putrajaya?

In any construction especially on a greenfield alignment, social and environmental issues are expected and will be mitigated carefully (please refer to section on Environment).

 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

20. Will the new ECRL be built in phases?

No, it will be built in single phase. Completion date by end of December 2026 for the whole alignment from Kota Bharu to Port Klang.

21. Will the ECRL be using a meter gauge or standard gauge for its track?

ECRL will be using standard gauge for its track.

22. Will there be double-tracking for the new ECRL alignment?

The agreed price of RM44 b is inclusive of double-tracking.

23. What are total number of tunnels in the new ECRL alignment?

Around 30 – 40 tunnels in total. Exact number is subject to finalisation by relevant authorities. 

24. Where is the longest rail tunnel for the ECRL alignment?

The longest tunnel will be in Jelebu-Semenyih area, measuring approximately 7 km.

25. Where would the viaducts be mainly constructed?

Viaducts are mainly constructed in Terengganu.

26. What is the percentage of elevated areas in the construction of the new ECRL?

Estimated between 15% to 20%. Exact number is subject to finalisation by relevant authorities. 

27. What will be the speed of the trains for the ECRL?

160 km per hour for passenger train, 80 km per hour for freight train.

28. What are the number of cars per train for the Electrified Multiple Units (EMUs)?

6-car train set for EMUs.

29. Does the new construction cost include rolling stock and stations for the ECRL?

Yes, RM44 billion is fully inclusive of the cost for rolling stock and stations for ECRL.

30. What are some of the rail spur lines in this new ECRL alignment?

Kerteh, Kemaman, Kuantan, Mentakab and Port Klang spur lines.

31. Based on the new ECRL’s cost, what makes up the highest cost?

Infrastructure cost.

32. What will happen to the construction sites at the abandoned section between Mentakab to Bentong?

Reinstatement of abandoned project sites will commence as soon as possible as per relevant authorities requirements.

33. Will reduction in project cost result in degraded project quality and delivery?

No. Reduction in project cost comes mainly from comprehensive value engineering exercise and new alignment thus shall proceed with high technical and safety criteria as per regulations and requirements set by relevant authorities.

OPERATION & MAINTENANCE

34. Who is the owner of Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRLSB)?

MRLSB is wholly-owned by the Minister of Finance Incorporated (MOF Inc.). As such MRLSB is 100% owned by the Government of Malaysia.

35. What is the role of Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRLSB)?

During construction, MRLSB is the 100% project and asset owner of the ECRL rail network. During operation, will be the 100% asset owner of the ECRL rail network. MRLSB will also form a 50:50 joint-venture with CCCC to jointly operate and maintain the rail network.

36. Will CCCC/China be involved in the operations of the ECRL this time around?

Yes, via a bMemorandum of Understanding (MOU) for provision of management, operation and maintenance services for ECRL rail network between MRLSB and CCCC joint-venture company on a 50:50 basis.

37. Previously, the ECRL was centred transportation ratio of 70 percent freight and 30 percent passenger. Will this change substantially?

No, the projected revenue ratio will remain at 70% freight and 30% passenger.

 

FINANCE/COST

38. What is the new revised construction cost for the ECRL Project?

In the improved ECRL deal, the revised construction cost is RM44 billion or RM68.7 million per kilometer. The original construction cost was RM65.5 billion or RM95.5 million per kilometer.  

39. How much in construction cost savings did the new ECRL Project bring as compared to the previous?

RM21.5 billion (the new project cost of RM44 billion against previous total cost of RM65.5 billion).

40. How did the project arrive at this new figure?

Via a comprehensive value engineering exercise on all technical aspects of the Project which includes a new southern alignment through Negeri Sembilan.

41. How was it possible to see such substantial reduction in as compared to the RM66.78 billion construction cost previously?

Comprehensive value engineering exercise has been done on the design and alignment which resulted in an optimized design and a new alignment plus lesser quantity of tunnelling and elevated section to be built.

42. Is any collateral involved in the loan?

Yes, we have maintained the same collateral in the form of a government guarantee for the loan from China EXIM.

43. Will there be a cost overruns in the long-term?

The project implementation will be diligently managed and monitored by MRLSB to avoid any cost overruns in the long-term.

44. Is there any interest cost savings due to the lower construction cost?

We expect interest cost savings up to RM12.2 billion. However, the improved deal financing terms are still being finalized with China EXIM Bank. 

45. Will the sukuk issuance with three local financial institutions continue?

Yes, it will be maintained at a lower amount as project cost has been reduced.

46. How much in total have been paid to CCCC to-date?

Approximately RM19.68 billion (including advance payment).

 

REGULATORY

47. Which Government Ministry is expected to supervise the new ECRL Project?

Ministry of Transport through Agensi Pengangkutan Awam Darat (APAD).

48. Who is the Regulator for the new ECRL Project?

Agensi Pengangkutan Awam Darat (APAD) is the project regulator.

49. Will Phase 1 ECRL Railway Scheme endorsed by SPAD in 2017 now considered void?

It is still valid and will be updated.

50. When will the Railway Scheme for the ECRL Project be approved?

Target for approval within 9 months after the signing of SA.

51. When will the new alignment for the ECRL be given the greenlight to proceed?

When the Railway Scheme is approved by Minister of Transport.

 

LAND MATTERS

52. Is there going to be Public Inspection for the entire ECRL rail alignment or is it just the new portion of alignment?

Yes, focusing on the new alignment.

53. How would one know if his/her land property will be affected by the new Mentakab-Bangi-Port Klang alignment?

When Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act 1960 is gazetted.

54. How soon will the land acquisition take place with regards to the new Mentakab-Bangi- Klang alignment?

Land acquisition is expected to start in the second half of 2020.

55. What is the status of the previous land acquisition process under the initial alignment?

We will proceed with the previous land acquisition except for the realignment portion between Kota Bharu to Dungun and the abandoned Mentakab to Bentong portion.

56. What happens to the land that was in the process of being acquired but it is now no longer part of the rail alignment?

It will go through a de-gazettement process.

57. Will there be legal redress for me if I had already spent money to vacate my property as per the initial ECRL alignment?

No land acquisition hearings or notice to vacate has taken place to date.

 

NEGOTIATION PROCESS

58. Who led the negotiation process?

YABhg Tun Daim Zainuddin as the Special Envoy of the Prime Minister led the negotiation process.

59. During the negotiation, what were the criteria involved?

  • Sanctity of contracts especially those involving Government to Government relations
  • Reducing project cost
  • Sharing of operational risk
  • Comprehensive value engineering and design optimization exercise

60. How long was the negotiation since project suspension took place (July 2018)?

9 months to date.

61. How will the negotiation benefit Malaysia?

A reduction in construction costs will lower the Government’s debt burden, improve Malaysia – China bilateral relations and increase local participation from 30% to 40% of civil works in the Project. It will also spur investment along the railway corridor.

62. What is the cost to the Government if we were to terminate the original ECRL Project instead?

The cost of termination is estimated at RM21.78 billion with nothing to show on the ground.

63. What happens to the EPCC Contract inked with CCCC during 2016-2017 period? Will it be null and void?

The EPCC Contract is still valid and in force and to be read together with the Supplementary Agreement signed on the 12 April 2019.

 

 ENVIRONMENT

64. Is the new alignment subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report?

Yes.

65. How to minimise dust and noise pollution during ECRL construction?

Will be part of Environmental Management Plan (EMP).

66. What are the mitigation measures taken to ensure that there is no flooding near the construction work that may affect residents?

To minimise flooding issues during construction we will implement approved Erosion Sediment Control Plan (ESCP).

67. Is there a Wildlife Management Plan in this new ECRL Project?

Yes.

68. Are there water catchment areas and forest reserves areas which the new Mentakab-Port Klang alignment will be crossing?

The new alignment will be designed to avoid any water catchment areas and forest reserves as far as possible. We will have more details once EIA report for the new alignment is finalized.

69. If there is a case of road diversion during construction, how to minimise the disturbance towards the public (road user)

Before any road diversions take place, traffic management plans will be submitted to local authorities for approval.

70. How is MRL going to limit the environmental impact of ECRL? What are the safeguards?

MRL will comply to all relevant environmental requirements including Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Environmental Management Plan (EMP), and Wildlife Management Plan (WMP).

71. Previously, wildlife underpasses were expected to be built at 29 strategic locations so that wildlife can move freely despite the railway line. What about now?

Yes, we will still take care of the wildlife and underpasses that will be built at the strategic locations along the alignment.

72. Which environmental NGOs that MRL will work with?

We will engage with all relevant NGOs.

73. How will the noise generated during the operation be controlled?

Noise will be controlled at source and the barriers will be provided when necessary.

74. If you counter a heritage site, what would you do?

During the planning stage, prior to construction, we will establish Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) submitted to Jabatan Warisan Negara for their approval.

75. How do you ensure the quality of water?

We will do schedule monitoring for all river and water intake (if applicable)

 

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