PETALING JAYA: Infrastructure jobs awarded during the first half of 2016 amounted to RM30bil, exceeding the value of jobs given out in 2015 at RM26bil.
Maybank Investment Bank (IB) Research said the RM30bil, according to statistics from the Construction Industry Development Board, included about RM23bil worth of Klang Valley mass rapid transit 2 (KVMRT2) jobs.
The research house estimated that the total infrastructure award value could be closer to the RM40bil mark by now, taking into account the Damansara-Shah Alam Highway and the Sungai Besi–Ulu Kelang Elevated Expressway.
“Whether 2016 will be another record year will depend on how substantial the Klang Valley Light Railway Transit (KVLRT) 3 jobs will be awarded this year, or the next.
“What is of real importance is that the pace of job awards has continue to roll, implying delivery commitment by the stakeholders,” it said in a note yesterday.
It added that the infrastructure sector would continue to support the construction sector’s order book replenishment in the current year and into 2017, as construction jobs from the property sector are expected to remain subdued.
Maybank IB Research said it remained positive on the country’s construction sector.
It said its top “buy” picks for the sector were Gamuda Bhd and Sunway Construction Group Bhd which both have a strong presence in public transport infrastructure construction and sizeable order books.
Moving into 2017, the research house said there were still the remaining packages of the KVMRT 2, which is estimated to be valued at over RM5bil, the Pan Borneo Sarawak Highway at about RM11bil, and the West Coast Expressway at about RM2bil, as well as the KVLRT 3 at RM9bil.
Beyond 2017, it said the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail, estimated to cost RM70bil, would be the single largest infrastructure project.
It also noted that a study on the KVMRT 3 (Circle Line) had commenced.
Other rail-related commitments, it said, were the Gemas-JB double track rail, estimated to cost RM7bil and the East Coast Rail, which would support the development of Kuantan Port.
Maybank IB Research added that it expected a higher gross development expenditure allocation for 2017 in the upcoming budget as this would allow the construction of other public transportation projects such as the KL-Klang bus rapid transit line to begin.
Infrastructure projects awarded in the first half of 2016 higher at US7bil