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Ekovest Construction—a unit of tycoon Lim Kang Hoo’s property developer Ekovest—has won the 1.98-billion-ringgit ($447 million) contract to build a high-speed railway that will link the southern Malaysian state of Johor Bahru to Singapore.
The four-kilometer railway, called the Rapid Transit System Link Project, is expected to transport 10,000 commuters per hour on each direction when completed by end-2026. It will provide an alternative mode of transportation and help reduce vehicular traffic across the causeway.
The project has been in the drawing board for years and was originally scheduled to be completed by end-2024. The implementation was suspended in April 2019 after the Malaysian government requested changes to the project’s design, before construction works resumed last year.
Ekovest Construction is building the Bukit Chagar station right next to the Malaysian immigration and quarantine facility and 2.7 kilometers of railway that links to the Woodlands North MRT station in Singapore. About 1.3 kilometers of railway, including the immigration and quarantine facility, is being built in Singapore by contractors including Japan’s Penta Ocean and China Communications Construction Co.
The project will help replenish the order book of Ekovest and contribute positively to the group’s earnings, Ecovest said Tuesday in a regulatory filing. Ekovest’s net profit slumped 93% to 2.4 million ringgit in the year ended March 31 as revenue from its construction business dropped 64% to 284.4 million ringgit.
Ekovest’s cofounder and chairman Lim Kang Hoo is also a major property developer in Malaysia. Through his privately held Iskandar Waterfront Holdings, Lim is transforming 4,000 acres of land in Johor Bahru into a new urban township. With a net worth of $620 million, Lim ranked No. 28 in the list of Malaysia’s 50 Richest published last month.