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Gamuda, WCT Holdings seen as front-runners for Penang International Airport main packages


Gamuda, WCT Holdings seen as front-runners for Penang International Airport main packages
Tender activities for the RM1.5 billion Penang International Airport expansion may gain momentum soon with Gamuda Bhd and WCT Holdings Bhd emerging as the front runners for the main packages. - NSTP/MIKAIL ONG

Gamuda, WCT Holdings seen as front-runners for Penang International Airport main packages

KUALA LUMPUR: Tender activities for the RM1.5 billion Penang International Airport expansion may gain momentum soon with Gamuda Bhd and WCT Holdings Bhd emerging as the front runners for the main packages.


Gamuda and WCT will likely be vying for the jobs against the likes of IJM Corp Bhd, Bina Puri Holdings Bhd and Pestech International Bhd, according to CIMB Securities analyst Mak Hoy Ken.


Other bidders may include TRC Synergy Bhd, Fajarbaru Builder Bhd, Muhibbah Engineering Bhd and Ibraco.


The PIA expansion received the green light from the Cabinet on Feb 21 this year, and Mak expects contracts for its three main work packages to be issued in the coming weeks.


"Following the issuance of a pre-qualification notice in the middle of March 2024, we would not be surprised if contracts for its three main work packages will be issued soon," he said in a report.


They entail the air traffic control tower, new main terminal building, renovations to the existing terminal, air traffic control tower, the Civil Aviation Authority Malaysia office, an ancillary building, pavement work, a new multi-storey car park (additional 1,500 parking bays that will double total capacity to 3,400 bays), which opened last April, as well as local infrastructure work.


PIA is set to be the second-largest airport in the country once the expansion works are completed in 2028.


Gamuda is no stranger to airport-related infrastructure works, having won a RM1.9 billion contract to build a significant section of the Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Doha under a consortium with WCT and Sinohydro Corp.


"Gamuda has a logistical edge over its rivals, as it is currently reclaiming land for the proposed Silicon Island, on the southern tip of PIA," Mak noted.


He said WCT, meanwhile, has delivered a string of high-profile airport-related projects. This includes the upgrading of Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) and bulk earthworks contracts for the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), besides HIA.


It is completing the expansion of Kota Bharu Airport.


For its non-aeronautical operations, WCT holds the retail concession rights for Gateway@klia2 and Subang Skypark, for which the Subang Airport Regeneration Plan could emerge as a major catalyst for the group.


Likewise, Muhibbah Engineering could be in the fray as it has a 21 per cent stake in two Cambodian airports, which it had a hand in building them.


The same goes for IJM Corp after the IJM- Pestech International joint venture was hand- picked by Alstom on Jan 17 this year to provide civil engineering and train power supply components for the KLIA Aerotrain replacement project.


Construction firms Bina Puri, Fajarbaru Builder, TRC Synergy and Ibraco have gained some traction in airport-construction related works.


Partnering government-backed UEM Builders Bhd, Bina Puri won the main contract worth RM1 billion to build KLIA's low-cost carrier terminal (now known as klia2).


Over in Thailand, Bina Puri completed road and bridge works at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport for US$48 million or about RM183 million.


TRC Synergy won a RM315 million contract to modernise Brunei International Airport and has just clinched another job worth RM358 million to refurbish Subang Complex A, which is located within the main Subang Airport compound.


As for Fajarbaru Builder has completed several contracts for both KLIA and klia2, while Ibraco scored its maiden win within this specialised field back in July 2017, bagging a RM303 million mandate to build the new Mukah Airport in Sarawak.


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