PTJ15_300615_PAN_BORNEO

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed for the construction of the Sarawak segment of the Pan Borneo Highway. Said memorandum was signed by the secretary-general of the Ministry of Works (KKR), Datuk Seri Zohari Akob, Sarawak state secretary, Tan Sri Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, and Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd (LBU) chairman, Tan Sri Abang Ahmad Urai Hakim Abang Mohideen.

The latter is a newly-established company has been appointed as the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) and will be responsible for the supervising and managing construction works regarding the toll-free, 1,090 km-long stretch of the Pan Borneo Sarawak Highway. LBU will now be the sole point of accountability for the implementation of said stretch and will be responsible for completing it at a reasonable cost and period.

With the signing of said MoU, work on the first phase of the Pan Borneo Sarawak Highway – a stretch spanning 773 km – is expected to commence in September, according to a report by Bernama citing Works Minister, Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof. Construction will begin with a 33 km-long stretch from Teluk Melano to Sematan, Sarawak – a single carriageway will link up towns and villages in said district.

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The overall project has been tagged with a ceiling budget of RM27 billion. With that said, the federal government is still working to finalise the cost and design of the highway, according to Fadillah. “We are still waiting for the results of the final survey on the design of the highway as well as the cost,” he said. Upon confirmation, contractors will be appointed to undertake the project.

A PDP concept allows the Ministry of Finance to provide the necessary funding through Infra Fund – a similar concept was utilised for the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project. Appointed firms, like LBU, will then receive a fee based on hitting the achievements on the agreed Key Performance Index (KPI).

As for the rest of the Sarawak portion of the Pan Borneo Highway, connections between Tanjung Datu to Miri as well as Tedungan to Merapok are expected to be completed by mid-2023. When finished, the entire network is expected to span a total distance of 2,239 km.