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Pansar eyes key role in state development

Pansar eyes key role in state development

08 Aug 2022

Pansar Bhd is eyeing more key infrastructure projects listed by the Sarawak government in its Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS 2030).

Its chairman, Datuk James Tai Cheong, said Pansar aims to play a role in the state infrastructure development via projects such as the Sarawak Second Trunk Road project, upgrading of state coastal roads, road linkages to villages, water supply grid programme, rural electrification as well as telecommunication infrastructure projects.

Among the initiatives and major projects planned under PCDS 2030 that were highlighted by Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at its launch in July 2021 are the development of autonomous rail rapid transit Kuching Urban Transportation System (estimated cost of more than RM5bil), expansion of terminals at the Kuching and Sibu Airports and new deep sea ports at Kuching and northern Sarawak.

The new key industrial projects include the development of Petrochemical Hub and bio-industrial park in Bintulu, which is currently underway, as well as free industrial zones around the new deep sea ports as well as a furniture park and extension of the Samajaya Hi-Tech Park.

To support the industrial development, a Pan Sarawak gas pipeline will also be built.

The PCDS 2030 has seven strategic thrusts and is anchored on six economic sectors as the main engines of growth, which will be supported by seven enablers.

Tai said Pansar is currently constructing the Batang Lupar bridge, the longest riverine bridge in Malaysia, in Samarahan Division.

The Batang Lupar bridge, with a contract value of RM848.8mil, is one of the nine major bridges to be built under the Sarawak coastal road network which stretches a massive 896km. Several other bridges are also in various stages of construction

The on-going 225km Second Trunk Road project will become an alternative road to the Sarawak Coastal Road and Pan Borneo Highway network which will significantly shorten the travelling time from Kota Samarahan to Sibu.

Most of the work packages under Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak are due for completion this year.

Tai said other notable infrastructure projects Pansar is implementing now are the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak Teaching Hospital (worth RM486mil), mechanical and engineering works on the Shell Headquarters in Miri and retrofitting of the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corp building in Kuching.

Pansar’s total order book for these projects (including Batang Lupar bridge) is RM1.4bil.

“Overall,we believe our secured order book can sustain us even in the event of a downturn for the next few years. Pansar has always followed a growth strategy based on a longer-term outlook,” added Tai in the company’s 2022 annual report.

Pansar diversified into construction & civil engineering business by acquiring Perbena Emas Sdn Bhd for RM151mil in April 2021.

The acquisition gave a major boost to Pansar group revenue of RM601.6mil for the financial year ended March 31,2022 (FY22). This was a 97.9% increase from RM304mil recorded in FY21 by the company.

Pansar’s construction and infrastructure business segment reported turnover of RM229.7mil in FY22 and was the largest revenue contributor (38.2%) to the group’s revenue.

Pansar said Perbena Emas was not able to recognise project revenue as planned due to the movement restriction and lockdowns related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Adding to the challenges were supply chain disruption and manpower shortages.

“Globally, we expect recessionary pressures to increase, with escalation of geopolitical conflicts, disruption in the supply chain and unpredictability in the financial markets.

“We are hopeful that we would be able to weather the downturn, thanks to the easing of restrictions, reopening of international borders and implementation of investment projects.

“No matter the economic circumstances, the company must continue to grow sustainably, even through tough times,” said Tai, adding Pansar had weathered many economic crises in the past such as the oil crisis in 1973, the Asian financial crisis of 1997, Covid-19 pandemic and now the Russia-Ukraine war.

Source: The Star

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