Posts tagged rail

Infrastructure, construction boom in Southeast Asia: Reuters

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News of a boom in Southeast Asian infrastructure spending is creating excitement, according to this piece in Reuters. New government initiatives to attract investment and stimulate economic growth, along with added interest from Chinese investors, will see about US$20 billion worth of new construction projects due to begin across the region this year.

The article is most confident about projects in Thailand and Malaysia, which is about to start its $11.5 billion, three-line Klang Valley MRT railway network around Kuala Lumpur. It says the two countries are “believed to be in the early stages of a new infrastructure investment cycle,” with construction companies posting record orders.

Thailand wants to spend $62 billion in the next two decades to expand its electric rail network to 391km and start building a 23km new line on its metro system, both moves intended to increase traffic on its relatively under-utilized public transit system.

Singapore, with more modest construction projections, is also planning to expand its rail network to 280km from 138km by 2020.

Risks to investors are potential land acquisition issues in Malaysia, Thailand’s politics, a land reform bill in Indonesia and funding problems in the Philippines. Malaysia’s land laws were relatively clear compared to others, but projects with such ambitious land acquisition plans were susceptible to delays.

Analysts in the article were most optimistic about Malaysia’s IJM Corp Bhd and Gamuda Bhd, and Thailand’s Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction Pcl.

source & article: Reuters

Malaysia’s Mrails seeking out new export markets for trains

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Malaysian train, tram and monorail manufacturer Mrails International Sdn Bhd is looking for new export markets, particularly in South Asia and Africa. Although the company says it is not in active discussion with anybody at the moment, it hopes to take part in a Matrade-organized overseas trade mission next month learn more about the market from other cities.

Mrails’ current major local project is the Malacca (Melaka) Tram, a RM272 million (US$89.24 million) light rail operation launched just last week and expected to be operating by May 2012. The project is a join venture aimed at carrying 40,000 passengers a day, with Mrails owning a 80% share and Malacca’s government-owned Chief Minister Incorporation (CMI) taking 20%. Mrails is developing its rolling stock in partnership with China’s CNR Tangshan Railway Vehicles Co Ltd.

No further information is available at this stage, but Mrails is also reportedly working on plans for India, Sri Lanka, South African and Angola. The company says it hopes to have new export customers by next year.

source & article: Business Times

Rail stories: intercity system for Iskandar, and a China-Vietnam-Singapore link?

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Our favorite stories from the mass transit sector in the past week: Malaysia Steel Works (KL) Bhd, or Masteel, and KUB Malaysia Bhd are coming together to build a new intercity transit system for Iskandar Malaysia in Johor, while a Chinese region is planning a rail link from Nanning to Singapore through Vietnam, at least part of which is high-speed.

Masteel expects its project will be completed by 2013. The RM1.23 billion (US$ 401million), 100km intercity system will be the first of its kind in Johor and run on existing rail. It will cover 25 regional centers and overseers hope to connect it eventually with the MRT line from Singapore. About 70% of the cost will come from the public-private partnership scheme and the companies are in negotiations with the Malaysian government’s Economic Planning Unit over a 25 year concession deal.

Meanwhile, China’s autonomous southern region of Guangxi Zhuang has plans to increase trade with ASEAN over the next five years with a high speed rail link between the cities of Nanning and Pinxiang near the Vietnamese border. Details are scant at the moment but it seems the $3.05 billion project would connect to a 5,000 rail link passing along the ‘Nanning-Singapore Economic Corridor’ through Vietnam (and presumably other countries along the way).

source & articles: Business Times, TODAY Online

Ras al-Khaimah, Trimex joint venture to invest $5bn in Indonesia

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A joint venture including the Trimex Group and Ras al-Khaimah, an emirate of the United Arab Emirates, plans to invest US$5 billion in Indonesia on transport infrastructure and minerals projects.

The projects, overseen by Trimex subsidiary MEC Holdings, will include a $1 billion 130km railway in Indonesian Borneo, capable of transporting 64 million metric tonnes of coal per year. MEC Holdings also plans to invest $500 million developing a coal mine in Muara Wahau, East Kalimantan, and will probably invest the remainder of the $5 billion in a partnership with India’s National Aluminum Co. to build an aluminum smelter and power plant in the same province.

Construction of the railway would begin in 2012 for completion in 2014, according to MEC Holdings executive vice chairman Madhu Koneru. Indonesia sees infrastructure development as a vital component in achieving rapid economic development, but needs billions of dollars in foreign investment to fulfill its goals of 6.6% average growth per year before 2014.

source & article: Bloomberg via The Jakarta Globe

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