Second Penang bridge concession is 45 years

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The concession period for the controversial 17-km second Penang bridge is a staggering 45 years, according to a reliable source.

File picture of second Penang Bridge construction site at Batu Kawan – Photo by Anil

And what is this reliable source? None other than the Malaysian Highway Authority’s Annual Report for 2008 – although it doesn’t indicate when the concession period will begin.

At 45 years, the project is the highest among nine highways listed as under construction. Of the remaining eight, two are for 40 years each, and the rest 33-34 years. So why is the second bridge so special to warrant 45 years?

It is estimated (not from the report) that the bridge could cost RM4.5-5.0 billion – though the final figure is anyone’s guess, knowing our history of major infrastructure projects. Press reports a couple of years ago had mentioned a preliminary figure of below RM3 billion – but later estimates put the figure at more than RM4 billion.

This is likely to be a lucrative project for the main players. Imagine, toll collection from the present 8km-Penang Bridge, which cost about three quarters of a billion ringgit in the mid-1980s, has resulted in the initial investment being recovered several times over.

The second bridge will connect Batu Maung on the island with Batu Kawan on the mainland and link up with the North-South Highway, making it a total length of 24-km.

The work is divided into three packages:

  1. Design and construction of the main navigation span, foundational work and sub-structure for the approach spans.
  2. Design and construction and completion of the main structural work for the approach spans.
  3. Construction and completion of the overland highway including the construction of a multi-level interchange at Batu Maung and Batu Kawan.

The concession firm is Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd, a special purpose vehicle of the Finance Ministry.

The firm appointed Chec Construction (M) Sdn Bhd (China Harbour Construction Company or CHEC) on 20 October 2008 to handle Package 1, which could be worth over RM2 billion.

Package 2 (about RM1.5 billion?) could go to a large GLC (UEM?).

Package 3 is likely to go to local contractors with local financing.

As at 31 December 2008, preliminary work on land surveying, dredging and a temporary jetty had begun. The completion date is now expected to be 2013.

If the concession period is really 45 years, the astronomical profits from the toll incurred by commuters will go to the federal government via the concession firm.

It woudn’t be so bad if some of this toll collection is used to improve public transport in Penang. But look at the state of our public transport.

Actually, why not just increase the number of ferries and improve the overall service with more routes? Also, construct a rail link near the present Penang Bridge. And, on the present bridge itself, introduce a shuttle bus service. All this would be more sustainable and less of a long-term financial burden for commuters (think of the savings in petrol and toll)!

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Berry

Dalbinder
Talk is cheap. For a grown up boy like yourself, i hope you will grow up and not be self serving. You can serve on other capacity. Being an ADUN will put you nowhere. First, if you are Gerakan, say good bye to your chances. If you are Parti Cintai Malaysia, better be “well connected” and if you are independent, better pray PR becomes Federal as then – you will have the opportunity to be working with a decentralized state govt n your wish will be fulfilled. Dream on boy

Dalbinder Singh Gill

Hi Berry, I take your view as a challenge to further improve myeself and be better. Thanks. Your name is Berry?

Nick

he we go again…..

kalambong

Question:

What was the original time frame of the toll concession for the original Penang bridge?

Dalbinder Singh Gill

Anil,

Its all politics. Put me into power in Seri Delima and I promise at least better transportation within that area. The Penang Government will not reject this project for sure but instead will request for it to be expedited. Why? Ask Lim Guan Eng and he will start talking about the state economy. Next, Penang Outer Ring Road. Directly, Barisan Nasional is the culprit, but indirectly PR is giving in and also involved. Ask the public, they will say, PR is victimized, they can’t do anything. Haha.

SamG

The biggest fear is that the BN Govt will raise the toll of the current Penang Bridge to match the toll of 2nd Link.
That is why KTK had planned to push up the toll after expansion to about RM10 range. Hence when the 2nd link is completed, both tolls can be the same.
(Un)fortunately the documents leaked and KTK had no choice but to deny everything
BN should never come back to power in Penang as long as possible. Otherwise KTK and team will give us the ROYAL FLUSH down the sewers of Jelutong Sewerage Plant!

donplaypuks

The Penang Govt and People should reject the 2nd bridge and save the Rakyat another cosy UMNO/BN job that will impinge adversely on future Govts and generations of Penangites and M’sians. The Govt’s measures of late in Khazanah venturing into dubious mega billion $ projects like theme parks, movie production studios, prawn farms etc., while divesting its shareholdings in blue chips like Tenaga by strong-arming EPF shows a Govt in financial disarray!! It may well be that they have brought the nation to the brink of bankruptcy that they need GST to rescue the Federal Govt’s profligacy and corruption and… Read more »