SINGAPORE: Malaysia's MyHSR Corporation and Singapore's SG HSR on Thursday (Apr 19) announced that more time will be given to interested parties to submit bids for the assets company for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project.
Bidders will now have until Dec 28, 2018 to submit their proposals, instead of the Jun 29 deadline announced when the tender was jointly called in December last year.
This extension will not affect the Dec 31, 2026 date on which operations are expected to begin, said the two companies in a joint media release.
The deadline was extended after bidders requested “additional time” to develop tender submissions, said SG HSR's managing director Rama Venkta and Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal, MyHSR Corporation's chief executive officer in a joint statement.
“We are encouraged by the strong interest in the AssetsCo (assets company) tender,” said the statement. “While the bidders are progressing with their tender preparations, they have also requested for additional time to develop their tender submissions that offer better value to both governments.”
“After careful consideration, we have extended the tender submission deadline by six months, in view of the complexity and scale of the project,” it added. “We look forward to receiving high quality and competitive proposals from all the bidders.”
Following the close of the tender, both companies expect to complete their evaluation and announce the tender results by the third quarter of 2019.
The assets company will be responsible for designing, building, financing and maintaining all rolling stock and rail assets as well as operating these assets for the high-speed rail. It will also manage the system network for operations and maintenance needs.
Singapore and Malaysia signed a bilateral agreement for the HSR project in December 2016.
It will be served by four trains every hour once it starts operations in 2026, two of which will offer an express service between the Bandar Malaysia terminal in Kuala Lumpur and Jurong East in Singapore every 30 minutes.
The project has attracted keen interest globally, with Japan’s ambassador to Malaysia saying earlier this year that the country could offer a “truly holistic” package towards the project.
Other bidders for the project may include those from China, South Korea and France.