MRT3 a boon for Malaysian locomotive design & manufacturing specialists
14 Mar 2022
The government nod to proceed with the Mass Rapid Transit Line 3 (MRT3) project early this month should be a boon for local companies expecially those with skills and technology in the design and manufacturing of locomotives and electric trains.
One such specialist is SMH Rail and its chairman and managing director Datuk PK Nara said Malaysia was not lacking in talent, expertise and technology to become a fully developed nation.
“Malaysia has a large pool of talent with the necessary skills, expertise and technology it needs to become a fully developed country. Coupled with an existing ecosystem of skilled local manufacturers, Malaysia has a strong foundation to be established as a leading country in the design and manufacturing of locomotives and electric trains,” Nara told the New Straits Times recently.
“We urge the government to award development projects to local manufacturers and vendors as it will certainly benefit the country’s economic recovery,” he added.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on March 4 said the government had approved the construction of MRT3 that was suspended by the Pakatan Harapan-led federal administration.
He said MRT3 would complete the public transport infrastructure in the Klang Valley by providing an integrated transportation system that was affordable for the people.
It also would drive economic growth and development in line with the government’s aim to empower the business sector and create 600,000 jobs this year, Ismail Sabri added.
Nara said SMH Rail was not only committed to placing Malaysia on the international map but also assisting and further enhancing the local ecosystem on its journey to gain foothold in the global market.
In addition to lowered supply chain costs, carbon emissions and energy usage, local manufacturers were more well-versed with the Malaysian railway landscape compared to their foreign counterparts, he added.
“Hence, we are able to provide solutions that are best-suited to address current pain points,” he said.
SMH Rail is a Malaysian-made company and sole manufacturer of railway rolling stock including locomotives, wagons and electric trains with 20 years competence in rail engineering.
It has made substantial investment in state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Selangor that spread over 35 acres.
Located in Rasa, the international-certified facility is Asean’s only Association of American Railroads accredited facility, equipped with modern robotic welding and computerised testing equipment, and hosts Malaysia’s only privately-owned 1km multigauge railway test track.
SMH Rail’s in-house design and engineering capabilities and manufacturing capabilities are supported by more than 90 per cent local workforce.
The company has a global presence in more than 10 countries and has collaborated with leading companies in the field including General Electric, Siemens, Hyundai Rotem and Amsted Rail US.
MRT3 will link MRT1 and MRT2 lines into one giant loop around the Greater Klang Valley.
MRT3 will be around 50km and have a circular alignment running along the perimeters of Kuala Lumpur.
The alignment will comprise elevated and underground sections with 31 stations.
CGS-CIMB Securities, in a recent report, expected MRT Corp to accelerate its industry engagements and finalise the MRT3 hybrid project structure and alignment prior to potentially calling for tenders, expected in the fourth quarter of 2022.
The firm also turned more bullish on MRT3’s earlier potential beneficiaries, namely for the engineering and project management services packages, which were likely to be dished out during the design stages and prior to civil works awards.