East Coast Rail Line ECRL-01

The 620 km East Coast Rail Link will be built and financed by China, Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah has confirmed. The engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPC) contract and a financing framework are among the agreements prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will be signing during his visit to Beijing, China, according to the New Straits Times.

The EPC contract will be awarded to China Communication Construction Company Ltd (CCCC), while the financing agreement will be with the Export Import Bank of China (EXIM). When completed, it’s said that the ECRL will increase the competitiveness of products from the East Coast due to reduced transport costs, and raise the incomes of industries and businesses located along the rail route, Mohd Irwan said.

“If you borrow in the international market you will not get the low interest rate that we will get. We haven’t finalised (the details) but we will get very competitive (rate) and the repayment period we expect to be 20 years,” Mohd Irwan added, saying that the decision to seek financing from China was due to the favourable terms offered.

The government hopes to have the ECRL project finalised by the end of this year in order for construction to start early 2017. In the recent Budget 2017, the PM announced the allocation of RM55 billion for the development of the ECRL, which will start from Port Klang, connecting townships such as ITT Gombak, Bentong, Mentakab, Kuantan, Kemaman, Kerteh, Kuala Terengganu, Kota Bharu and will end in Tumpat.