Category Archives: KVMRT – Klang Valley MRT

MRT works progressing well

Work on the underground portion of the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) is progressing well with the successful lowering and fitting of the cutterhead for the first Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM).
mrt works progressing well 1


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CSC signs S$400m in deals for Klang Valley MRT

BY TEO SI JIA, Business Times

CSC Holdings on Monday said it had inked over S$400 million worth of deals so far this year. More than S$100 million came from foundation contracts, including works on the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit in Malaysia, which will commence this month and complete in the middle of the year.

The engineering specialist has also received contracts from the industrial and public and private residential sectors in Singapore. These include The Scotts Towers, The Tembusu, Skies Miltonia, Q Bay Residence and HDB projects in Sengkang, Choa Chu Kang, Kallang-Whampoa and Tampines.
It said its order book stood at S$240 million as at March 1, with the bulk of its projects due for completion in the next few quarters.


Kuala Lumpur, 30 January 2013: In line with its commitment to reach out to the public and raise awareness on the MRT project, Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) in September 2012 initiated the ‘I need MRT because…’ (INMRT) contest. The contest, which requires participants to submit their reasons on why they need the MRT, received close to 9,000 entries and registered more than 100,000 votes on the ‘best reasons’ submitted.

In addition, the three-month online contest saw close to 300,000 visits to the contest microsite– Speaking at the prize giving dinner at TEEQ Restaurant in Kuala Lumpur today, MRT Corp Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Azhar Abdul Hamid said, “It is comforting to know that the project has the Rakyat’s support and that they are waiting for its completion.

Rest assured that MRT Corp is vigorously working around the clock to deliver this project within the agreed timeline to enhance the productivity and quality of life for residents in the Klang Valley”. Four lucky winners, namely Cik Atiqah Abdul Aziz, Encik Azmil Mohamad, Ms. Tan Eng Yen, and Ms. Tu Sun Ing were rewarded RM25,000 in total for giving their best reasons on why they need the MRT. Cik Atiqah Abdul Aziz, Encik Azmil Mohamad and Ms Tan Eng Yen were the three monthly winners which earned them RM5,000 each.

Ms. Tu Sun Ing, who is the Grand prize winner of the INMRT contest, was delighted that her entry ‘I need MRT because it can take more than 198,000 cars off the road daily’ landed her the RM10,000 grand prize. “I moved from Johor to Kuala Lumpur four years ago and I heavily rely on the public transport here. Although the public infrastructure here is well developed, I still think more can be done to enhance it and no doubt MRT is the answer. Me and my family can’t wait to have the MRT up and running,” said Tan.

Construction on the 51 kilometre MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) line is now in full swing and is expected to be completed in 2016, and commence operations in January 2017. Once completed, the MRT SBK Line project will have 31 stations, including 7 underground.

Malaysia Can Be Real Estate Investment Hub By 2020 : Analyst

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Kuala Lumpur, 14 December 2012: Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) and Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) signed the Electricity Supply Agreement for the construction of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line.

Chief Executive Officer of MRT Corp, Dato’ Azhar Abdul Hamid and TNB’s Senior General Manager (Operations – Region 1), Distribution Division, Datuk Ir Mustafa Din signed for their respective organisations in a ceremony at MRT Corp’s Headquarters today.

The Electricity Supply Agreement signed today also provides for the supply of power for the operation of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line until 2050.

The user connection charge for power supply for both construction and operation is RM173.1 million. This is based on a Special Tariff – Customised Commercial Traction Tariff.

Under the agreement, TNB will be supplying for a maximum demand level of 116.5MW. These will be supplied through seven 33kV Main Switching Substations which will be built at the Sungai Buloh Depot, Taman Industri Sungai Buloh Station, Section 16 Station, Semantan Portal, Cochrane Launch Shaft, Taman Cuepacs Station and Kajang Station.

On top of that, TNB will be constructing two 132/33kV Transmission Main Intakes which will be built at the Semantan Portal and Cochrane Launch Shaft.
Construction is expected to be completed by 31 July 2017.

Power supply for the construction of the MRT is expected to begin by the end of this year while commencement of power supply for MRT operations will coincide with the operationalisation of the first phase of the MRT line from Sungai Buloh to Semantan by 31 December 2016.

Dato’ Azhar thanked TNB for the cordial atmosphere during the negotiations which preceded the inking of the Electricity Supply Agreement. “Such an environment paved the way for a smooth negotiation process which resulted in us signing
this important agreement today,” Dato’Azhar said.

Dato’ Azhar also thanked TNB for agreeing to the Special Tariff for the MRT.
“The MRT is a Government project which is for the benefit of the rakyat. I’m very happy that TNB recognised this and agreed to the Special Tariff for the MRT,” he said.

Datuk Ir Mustafa expressed his appreciation to MRT Corp for working together to achieve the signing of the Electricity Supply Agreement. He said TNB will deliver power supply for the MRT project in accordance with its requirement.

“I understand Phase One for the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line will begin by 31 December 2016 while Phase Two will open in July 2017, allowing the whole line to be operational,” he said.

Datuk Ir Mustafa said TNB was honoured and proud to be able to be part of the MRT project which is a major Government infrastructure project that will benefit the rakyat and boost the nation’s development.

No doubts over ability of Herrenknecht AG drilling equipment

SCHWANAU (Germany): Schwanau is located in Ortenaukreis, Baden-Wurttemberg, in the south of Germany, with a population of only 6,800.

However, the 38.34 square km wide Schwanau is ‘not really small’, as it is the home of a high-technology machine manufacturer that specialises in underground tunnel work.

Created in 1977, and renamed Herrenknecht AG in 1998, the Allmannsweier-based firm is known as the leader in the manufacturing and marketing of tunnelling machinery.
To date, Herrenknecht AG has supplied the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) in sizes of 0.10-19.0 metres and completed more than 1,900 km of tunnels.

In 2005, Herrenknecht AG set a world record by building a TBM measuring 19 metres (62 feet) in diameter. The firm is also involved in the construction of the Smart Tunnel in Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur.

The first TBM for the My Rapid Transit’s (MRT) Sungai Buloh-Kajang alignment is ready to be shipped to Malaysia from Schwanau to start tunnelling work for the MRT project, expected to take off in May 2013.

The shipment of the TBM followed the recent success of the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) conducted by engineers from MRT Corp and the contractor for the underground tunnel work, MMC-Gamuda KVMRT (T) Sdn Bhd and Herrenknecht AG here.

MRT Corporation’s Strategic Communication and Public Relations Director, Amir Mahmood Razak, said the first MRT alignment, which has 31 stations including seven located underground, will require tunnelling through karstified limestone and the Bukit Kenny geological structures.

Karst is an area of irregular limestone in which erosion has produced fissures, sinkholes, underground streams, and caverns.

Geological studies show that part of the underground area east of Kuala Lumpur is made up of karstified limestone, while the Bukit Kenny zone has granite, sand and mudstones.

This requires a suitable TBM, and MRT tunnels are to be constructed using two types of TBMs – six Variable Density (VD) modern TBMs and two Earth Pressure Balance (EPB) TBMs to ensure the safety of workers during construction of the tunnels.

VD TBM will be used to drill through the karstified limestone area, while EPB TBM will be used in the Kenny Hill geological area, explained Amir.
The first of the 10 TBMs, 6,620mm in diameter, 135 m-long and weighing 1,100 tonnes with cutterhead power of 1,280KW, will be used for the construction of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang MRT tracks.

MRT Corp and MMC-Gamuda ordered the TBM in March 2012. It took nine months for completion before receiving the FAT scrutiny and approval.

This machine will be dismantled and shipped to Malaysia after the FAT clearance and is expected to arrive in the country in March 2013, said Amir.

This TBM and another (still in construction) will be used to bore a tunnel through Cochrane, Kampung Pandan and ending in Pasar Rakyat in Kuala Lumpur.

Ten TBMs, worth RM450 million, will be used for tunnel-boring works at the 9.5 km stretch from Semantan to Maluri, passing seven underground stations (KL Sentral, Pasar Seni, Merdeka, Bukit Bintang Sentral, Pasar Rakyat, Cochrane, and Maluri).

Eight of the TBMs will be manufactured by Herrenknecht AG, while the other two will come from China Railway Tunnel Engineering Ltd factories.

Also, about two-thirds of the company’s 3,300 workers are at the Herrenknecht AG headquarters, and another 300 at three different locations in China.

A tunnel boring machine (TBM) is a sophisticated machine used to bore through any type of soil or rock, explained the project manager for MMC Gamuda Joint Venture Sdn Bhd (MGJV), Gusztav Klados, to Malaysian journalists who recently visited the plant in Schwanau.

“It is shaped like a cylinder, which is lying on its side and has a rotary cutter head at its front. This cutter head cuts and “eats away” the soil or rock as it rotates and as the TBM pushes itself forward.

“A TBM also has a system which assembles the concrete lining for the tunnel immediately after the TBM has done its excavation work,” he said.

This consists of a mechanical arm that lifts and puts pre-cast concrete pieces together to form a ring in the excavated portion of the tunnel. This maintains the integrity of the tunnel by preventing the tunnel from caving in.

The TBM also has a set of hydraulic jacks that are fixed against the last concrete ring, slowly extended to push the TBM forward.

Another important component of the TBM is the system that disposes of the soil or rock material which the TBM has excavated. Depending on the type of machine used, excavated material can be brought out from the back of the machine via a conveyor belt or loaded into wagons which are then transported out, or can be mixed into a liquid clay called bentonite and pumped out, he said.

Gusztav explained that by using the EPB shields, the soil is excavated by tools on the rotating cutting wheel at the tunnel face and passes through the openings in the cutting wheel into the excavation chamber.

There, it mixes with the other soils.

The force from the thrust cylinders is transmitted via the pressure bulkhead to the soil to support the tunnel face and control the entry of material into the excavation chamber.
The excavated material is then removed by the screw conveyor from the excavation chamber, which is under pressure in the tunnel. With the help of an erector, the tunnel lining segments are built directly behind the shield. All activities are monitored from the control cabin.

EPB Shields, made by Herrenknecht AG, are in their element in soft ground. Cohesive and incohesive soils with high clay or silt content and low water permeability provide the ideal conditions for EPB tunnelling.

Gusztav explained, the soil excavated by the cutting wheel is used to support the tunnel face. Foam injected in front of the cutting wheel turns the excavated soil into a paste, guaranteeing the exact control of the support pressure, as well as the efficient removal of the excavated soil.

One other method for constructing a tunnel for the MRT without using a TBM is by digging from the surface, said Amir.

This method is usually called “cut and cover” because it literally involves cutting and digging the soil or rock from the surface, and then covering it over to make a tunnel once the desired depth is reached.

This is obviously not a feasible method when building an MRT tunnel, or any other type of tunnel, through a busy city like Kuala Lumpur, as the “cut and cover” method will cause constant disruptions on the surface.

Further, cut and cover through a city will mean closing all roads and demolishing all buildings that the tunnel will run under.

“The FAT is an important milestone in the MRT project as it marks the completion of the TBM’s manufacturing process. MRT Corp and MMC-Gamuda has inspected the TBM to ensure that it complies with its required specifications and that it functions properly. The TBM is now ready for action in Malaysia”, said Amir.

During the FAT, the engineers jointly went through a check-list of 450 items which stretched over 43 pages. The checks range from a simple visual of the external surface of the TBM to ensuring that every valve in the TBM is in good working order.

According to Amir, an added significance to this event was that this first TBM, code-named S-774 for the MRT project, is also the world’s first Variable Density TBM. The design of the Variable Density TBM was the result of a joint effort between MMC-Gamuda and Herrenknecht and was specially invented for tunnelling through the challenging Kuala Lumpur limestone which lies under the eastern part of Kuala Lumpur.

“The designing of the Variable Density TBM is the result of combined Malaysian and German ingenuity. This is something which Malaysians can be truly proud of,” said Amir.

Amir added that a TBM owner has several options upon completion of the work. One is for the TBMs to be decommissioned and dismantled. Parts that can be reused will then be salvaged.

The second option is to tunnel the TBMs into the ground and cap them.

The third choice is to dismantle the TBMs and then re-assemble them for displaying to the public.

The fourth option is to dismantle the TBMs, relocate them to a factory for refurbishment with replacement parts, and deliver them to another project requiring similar TBMs, all tested and approved for new tunnelling work, he said. — Bernama

Gamuda on track with MRT project

GAMUDA Bhd group managing director Datuk Lin Yun Ling looks re-energised. During Gamuda’s board meeting on Thursday, the board just approved the renewal of Lin’s contract to helm the company for the next five years, come June 2013. Further entrenching Lin’s optimism on Gamuda is the doubling of his shareholding in the company from some 34 million shares to 67.63 million, and thus increasing his stake from 1.7% to 3.25%.

The reason for the fresh perspective to his career has been the biggest job Gamuda has tackled. As the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) with MMC Corp Bhd, Lin and his team at Gamuda are busy planning basically all aspects of the My Rapid Transit (MRT) project in the Klang Valley.

MMC Gamuda KVMRT (PDP) Sdn Bhd a 50:50 joint-venture company between Gamuda Bhd and MMC Corp Bhd was formed on Dec 27, 2010, while the formal agreement between Mass Rapid Transit Corp Bhd (MRT Corp) and MMC-Gamuda JV on the appointment of the latter as the PDP was signed on Feb 10, 2012.

The primary function of the PDP is to deliver the KVMRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK Line) within the agreed key performance index of target cost and completion date.

The total target cost would include the total aggregate works packages contract value and reimbursables capped at RM2.8bil.

Piling works

To date, MRT Corp has disbursed some 95% of the value of the project and is on track to complete it by July 2017. Work has started and this is evident from the various construction structures, ground and piling works that have started throughout the Klang Valley.

“I would say that we are on track to complete the SBK Line by mid-2017. Being PDP is significant. It is more than just being a turnkey contractor,” he tells StarBizWeek.

To ensure efficiency, Lin said there are now some 2,000 people working with the PDP for the SBK Line project, out of which 700 are directly hired and a further 600 are supervising consultants and 700 engineering and design consultants.

Some RM2.8bil has been allocated for the salaries and reimbursables (third party costs) such as engineering design and supervision fees and site investigations, among others, for the SBK Line.

Lin is pleased with the way the PDP model is meeting expectations for the project owner.

“To take an out-of-the-box approach using the PDP model was a bold move by the Government. It is as Blue Ocean as it gets. The benefits of using the PDP model can be seen in three aspects: spread’, speed’ and skills development’,” explains Lin.

Lin explains that in terms of spread, this refers to the number and breadth of work packages being awarded. For example, there are more than 90 works packages to maximise participation by local contractors.

“This is spread out to big and small contractors so all have a share. The procurement process also becomes fully transparent. With so many contracts, the number of interfaces between the work packages is tremendous. PDP will have to manage it well,” Lin says.

In terms of the speed of rollout, Lin said that approval for the SBK Line was first obtained in Dec 2010, and construction commenced in less than two years.

“With the PDP, we are able to move faster because we can fast track the engineering process, we are familiar with the approval process for the railway scheme, land acquisition and local authorities. We have the incentive to do everything right and on time because the PDP guarantees the Government against any delays. Our fees are greatly reduced with delays,” says Lin. Skills development

For Lin, the rollout of the MRT presents not just an efficient mode of mass public transport in Greater Klang Valley but also provides an opportunity for the Malaysian workforce to acquire new and high order skill sets.

“In line with the Government’s Economic Transformation Programme, the nurturing of local talents during the construction process of the MRT will sustain our move up the technology value chain and enable higher income jobs to be created,” says Lin.

Lin notes that there are currently yawning skill gaps in the local rail industry workforce. This has forced the PDP to resort to recruiting highly-skilled expatriates on two to three-year contracts. Their positions are mainly to fill in the gap for operational software integration, train power systems and driverless train control and signaling systems,” Lin adds that the PDP is also putting in place a comprehensive understudy programme, whereby local engineers are trained to eventually take over these responsibilities.

For example, there are 150 experienced engineers and 200 graduate engineers who are trained via the understudy programmes to ensure the entire rail technology value chain is developed and managed by locals in the coming years.

For the underground works, MMC-Gamuda JV has the Tunnelling Training Academy. The training is targeted at 2,000 people across the entire spectrum from engineers to mechanics and technicians, operators, supervisors and skilled workers, providing a head-to-toe route from academy to on-the-job training.

“We have the most to gain from doing it well because our incentives are aligned with effective outcomes,” says Lin.

In facing the longer term and sustainability issues of the MRT, MRT Corp and PDP are on the same page that this project is more than just building the line.

First up is the issue of better connectivity especially on the interchange with other lines, buses and taxis. Next is the quality of access to stations, for example, the feeder bus systems, park and ride facilities and even bicycle parking.

Studies on second and third lines

“We need full WiFi access throughout our MRT and a seamless ticketing system. Supporting this will be a sustainable and accountable platform for operations and maintenance. For the vibrancy of the stations and the surrounding area, there needs to be good integration between the commercial and retail activities. We also need to be energy efficient during operations. These are the other aspects of the MRT which are just as important as creating multiplier effects,” says Lin.

Meanwhile, the Government is already conducting feasibility studies on the construction of the second and third MRT lines and will make the decision on the lines next year.

The two new MRT lines consist of the “Circle Line” which is an orbital line around the main Kuala Lumpur city while the other line is similar to the SBK Line, but runs from the underserved areas of Kepong and Sri Kembangan.

“To determine the right time for the next line, two main things are to be considered. First of all, avoid bunching the lines together as that will stretch the supply chain. And the scenario where contractors and experienced manpower finish the current line with no continuity should be avoided. If they leave for other countries, it becomes a lot more costly to rehire them,” explains Lin.

Timing wise, the SBK Line was approved in Dec 2010, and it took two years for construction to get off the ground.

“The civil works will only take two and a half years of the entire five-year timeframe needed to complete the MRT. The second half of that is needed for outfitting systems, testing and commissioning,” says Lin.

“Taking all this into account, approval for the next line will need to be obtained before mid-2013 so that construction works can begin in 2015. This will be just nice as the civil works for the first line will be coming to an end by then,” says Lin.

MRT Job – Gamuda

So far, RM20 billion of the SBK Line has been awarded with the balance being systems, equipment and vehicle works. The final value of the line may be RM22-RM23 billion. Hence the PDP fee will be based on 6 per cent of RM14 billion or RM840 million. The SBK line is on track to be 15 per cent complete by mid-2013, paving the way for strong earnings in FY13F and beyond. We think at least one of the other two MRT lines will be approved by the government next year.