Tender for Rembus Depot awarded, launch will mark beginning of ART project

An artistic impression of the KUTS project to improve mobility in Greater Kuching. Photo credit: Sarawak Metro's Facebook page

By DayakDaily Team

KUCHING, Nov 29: Tender for the construction of Rembus Depot under Stage One of the Kuching Urban Transportation System (KUTS) has been awarded to Hock Seng Lee Berhad with the project to be launched soon to mark the beginning of physical construction work on the Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) project.

Minister of Transport Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin, in disclosing this, said the ART project to improve and modernise the public transport system within the Greater Kuching area is progressing as planned by Sarawak Metro Sdn Bhd (Sarawak Metro).

“This latest tender for the Rembus Depot for the Blue Line is among the various tenders called and awarded as of the second quarter of this year.

“At the same time, we are now waiting for China to relax their SOP (standard operating procedure) because we want to visit the manufacturer to look at the ART vehicles, systems and so on,” he said during a press conference in the Media Room of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex today.

Earlier when delivering his ministerial winding-up speech, Lee told the august House that the operation of ART will start with the Blue Line covering Rembus to Riveria which is expected to commence service in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2025, and then will be extended to Hikmah Exchange in the fourth quarter of 2026.

“The (operation of the) Red Line from Kuching Sentral to Pending is expected to begin in the Q4 2026 while the Green Line which covers from Pending to Damai Central is expected to commence in Q4 2027.

“The proof-of-concept (POC) exercise of the ART vehicle is also scheduled for the third quarter of 2023,” he said.

The other tenders which have been awarded this year includes one for the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) to EMS Progress Sdn Bhd at the value of RM3.088 million.

The tender for System Package 1 was awarded to joint-venture company EPR Mobilus GR JV Sdn Bhd, which comprises EPR Kuching Sdn Bhd, Mobilus Sdn Bhd and Global Rail Sdn Bhd, at a value of RM1,425,000,000.

It includes the supply of hydrogen-powered ART vehicles by CRRC Zhuzhou Institute Company Limited and CIMC-Hexagon Hydrogen Energy Systems Limited.

Phase 1 covers the design, engineering, procurement, manufacture, assembly, testing and commissioning and handover of hydrogen vehicle (H2V), depot equipment and maintenance vehicle (DEMV), automatic platform gate (APG) and signalling and control system (S&CS).

As for System Package 2, it was awarded to DOM Industries (M) Sdn Bhd and China Railway Electric Engineering Group Malaysia Sdn Bhd at a value of RM448,000,000.

These systems include Telecommunication (Comms); Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA); Automatic Fare Collection (AFC); Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS); Operation Control Centre (OCC); and Information Technology System (ITS).

Meanwhile, since the launching of trial operations in January 2020, the hydrogen buses have recorded a total ridership of 25,564 passengers from September 2020 to October 2022.

Currently, Lee said that the vendor registration for the H2 feeder bus is ongoing, while tender contracts involving the scope and requirement for H2 Feeder Bus Depot Infrastructure Design, delivery of H2 Feeder Bus and Integrated System as well as the requirements for H2 fuel supply is being finalised. — DayakDaily