By Sharen KaurPublished: 2012/04/06
The government has awarded a contract worth as much as RM530 million to Chinaâ€™s CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co Ltd (CSR ZELC) to supply trains for the Ampang light rail transit (LRT) line extension project.
CSR ZELC received the letter of award to build and supply 20 sets of six-car light rail vehicles yesterday, sources said.
The trains are meant to service the existing LRT network and the new line to Putra Heights. The award comes at a time when Malaysia and China are strengthening their bilateral trade ties.
Trade between Malaysia and China rose by 42.8 per cent year-on-year to reach US$74.3 billion (RM227.7 billion) in 2010.
Sources close to the government said the award came amid plans by CSR ZELC to invest in a manufacturing plant in Batu Gajah, Perak.
It is learnt that CSR ZELC is planning to use Malaysia as a hub for its expansion into the Asean region. CSR ZELC is one of the major electric locomotive manufacturers in China and a subsidiary of China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corp Ltd.
The Chinese company is not new to the Malaysian market. It has earlier secured a RM1.89 billion contract from the Transport Ministry to supply 38 sets of six-car trains for the national railway company Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd.
The purchase was part of the government project under the National Key Results Area programme to improve public transportation in the Klang Valley.
The tender for the supply of trains for the LRT extension project, which closed on December 12, 2011, attracted six bidders.
Their prices ranged from RM500 million to RM850 million. It is understood that CSR ZELC is the lowest bidder, beating Bombardier Transportation/Scomi Rail Bhd, Caf Spain/Tranz-i Sdn Bhd, China North Railway/EmRail Sdn Bhd, Rotem Korea/CMC Engineering Sdn Bhd and Romania Astra/Smh Rail Sdn Bhd.
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