Full steam ahead for Sarawak’s ultra-modern transportation system

THE physical state of the Kuching Urban Transportation System (KUTS) project which shall re-define the way Sarawakians commute in the state capital of Kuching is gradually crystalising four years after the establishment of Sarawak Metro Sdn Bhd in 2018 to oversee the laying of a ‘track-less” hydrogen-powered transit system within the Greater Kuching enclave.

In July 2020, Sarawak Metro embarked on the environmental, social and heritage impact assessment (ESHIA) which not only aimed to minimise the project’s environmental and social impact but also to ensure that places or areas with important heritage landmarks around the city and state will be protected and preserved during the development of KUTS.

Yesterday, the wholly owned subsidiary of the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) received two bids for the KUTS System Package 1 tender.

The tender for Phase 1 of the KUTS Project’s System Package 1 is for the supply of rolling stock (hydrogen-powered automated rapid transit [ART] vehicles), depot equipment & maintenance vehicles (DEMV), signalling & control system (S&CS) and automatic platform gate (APG).

One of the bids is from the joint venture company comprising CRRC (Hong Kong) Co Ltd, CHEC Construction (M) Sdn Bhd and KACC Construction Sdn Bhd.

The other bid is from the joint venture company comprising EPR (Kuching) Sdn Bhd, Global Rail Sdn Bhd and Mobilus Sdn Bhd.

As a requirement of the tender exercise, each joint venture has to consist of a local Sarawak partner. The local Sarawak companies in the joint-ventures involved in this tender are KACC Construction Sdn Bhd and EPR (Kuching) Sdn Bhd.

Sarawak Metro will use the hydrogen bus as feeder bus to provide connectivity to the ART station. Currently, Sarawak Metro has three hydrogen buses which are running on trial within the Kuching city


A third joint venture company, which earlier expressed third interest to take part in the tender, however, did not submit a bid by the closing date on March 31. The contract to the successful bidder is expected to be awarded by 2Q 2022.

Sarawak Metro, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), had advertised calling for companies to register as rolling stock vendor in both international and national publications in mid-2021.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Metro will call for tenders for System Package 2 of the KUTS Project (Phase 1) by 2Q 2022.

This package comprises communication system (COMMS), automatic fare collection (AFC), information technology system (ITS), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) and operation control centre (OCC).

The development of the KUTS Project will be conducted in phases; Phase 1 will involve the development of two lines, namely (i) the Samarahan Line which covers a distance of about 28km from Rembus to the city centre; and (ii) the Serian Line (24km) from 12th Mile Kuching-Serian Expressway to the Isthmus.

The passenger service for the ART is expected to be introduced in stages, starting from 4Q 2025. – April 7, 2022

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