Hangzhou’s new 48km Metro rail line costs RM11bn. How much is the 51km Sungai Buloh-Kajang MRT going to cost? RM50bn?
What’s more, the Hangzhou line has to use complex technology as it runs underneath the West lake, Qiantang River, the Grand Canal and several railway lines, as one Malaysian activist pointed out.
The Hangzhou line:
Building on the success of Beijing Metro Line 4 and Shenzhen Metro Longhua Line, Hangzhou Metro Line 1 is MTR Corporation’s third metro investment project in the mainland.
The new 48 km line is a Public-Private Partnership project with a total capital cost of about $3.5 billion.
MTR Corporation has a 49 per cent stake in Hangzhou MTR with the balance owned by Hangzhou Metro Group Company Limited. Hangzhou MTR will operate the line for 25 years.
The Sungai Buloh-Kajang line:
Now that we are concentrating on one line Sg Buloh-Kajang we have asked them for an estimate and they said it may cost RM18bil to RM20bil to construct. This does not include the rolling stock, land acquisitions and other provisions.” Land Public Transport Commission chief executive officer Mohd Nur Ismal Kamal said the Government was doing all it could to drive down the cost.
“With land acquisition and rolling stock, it could come up to RM50bil, but it is too early to say,” he said. “We will know the full picture later as the project is still at the public display stage. This will end in middle of May. … From the feedback, we will then consider the alignment and the length of the platforms for the stations, whether it is a four-car train or more,” Mohd Nur added. He said that once the public display was over, a target cost would be worked and agreed on. Once the tender was over, it may be different from the target cost, he said.
Even if we exclude rolling stock and land acquisition cost (and why should we exclude that?), the actual construction cost is still much higher than Hangzhou’s.
So why the vast disparity in the cost? I think we need independent auditors to scrutinise the costing and tendering of this massive project.