Chinese state-owned firms team up for Singapore-KL HSR.
Beijing-based China Railway Rolling Stock has confirmed that China Railway Corp is leading a consortium that will take part in the assets company (AssetsCo) tender for the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High-Speed Rail (HSR).
Aside from the two aforementioned firms, the eight-company consortium includes CRRC, Export-Import Bank of China, and China Railway Construction Corp, as well as China Railway Signal and Communication.
“Judging (by) these companies’ size and resources, they will form the largest group to build a high-speed rail network outside China if they win the bid next year,” said Feng Hao, a researcher at the National Development and Reform Commission’s Institute of Comprehensive Transportation.
On 20 December, Singapore’s Land Transport Authority’s wholly-owned unit SG HSR and Malaysia’s MyHSR Corporation jointly launched the tender for the HSR’s AssetsCo. This firm will be will be responsible for funding, constructing and maintaining all rolling stock in the HSR network. It will also design and run all of its rail assets like, power, signalling, trackwork, and telecommunications for the double-track line with a speed of 350kmh.
In line with this, both government agencies will jointly hold a tender briefing in Kuala Lumpur on 23 January, and interested bidders have until 29 June 2018 to submit their proposals.
The bids will be assessed based on their price, value-for-money, commercial strength, financial sustainability and technical solutions. The last should prioritise reliability, customer focus, safety and security, as well as operational flexibility.
When the HSR starts operating by 31 December 2026, it is expected to reduce the travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Jurong East in Singapore from four hours by car to only 1.5 hours by train.
According to Beijing Jiaotong University rail transportation professor Du Chunbu, the partnership among major Chinese state-owned companies show they have stopped their stiff rivalry among themselves.
“Instead, they have started to form a consortium to better compete with rivals from Japan, South Korea, Germany and Canada by bringing their specialties into play.”