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The Edge Malaysia - Bank Pembangunan, UOB, China Construction Bank to finance rapid transit project in Kuching


KUALA LUMPUR, 20 July 2023



Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd, UOB Malaysia and China Construction Bank (Malaysia) Bhd (CCB Malaysia) have announced a syndication programme to extend financing facilities to the contractor developing Southeast Asia’s first hydrogen-powered, autonomous rapid transit in Kuching.


In a joint statement on Thursday (July 20), the parties said the financing package extended to EPR Mobilus GR JV Sdn Bhd (EMGJV) amounted to RM264.5 million.


EMGJV has been appointed as the contractor for the Kuching Urban Transportation System (KUTS) project by Sarawak Metro Sdn Bhd, a unit of Sarawak Economic Development Corp.


The financing package is for KUTS Phase 1 project. The completion of the project will see the rollout of the Blue Line (from Rembus in Kota Samarahan to Hikmah Exchange in Kuching city centre), Red Line (from Kuching Sentral to Pending) and Green Line (from Pending to Damai Central).


Bank Pembangunan, UOB Malaysia and CCB Malaysia are the mandated lead arrangers of the syndication programme.


Bank Pembangunan group chief executive officer (CEO) Roni Abdulwahab said the project is aligned with the group’s purpose to deliver impact capital for national development.

"Today, we evaluate all our activities using our assessment framework called MIND (Measuring Impact on National Development), to make sure all of our projects deliver socioeconomic and environmental impact. KUTS particularly scores high in our MIND evaluation," he said.

UOB Malaysia CEO Ng Wei Wei said the project is aligned to the bank’s focus on reducing financed emissions that fall under Scope 3.

"With Sarawak’s abundance of renewable energy resources and its government’s supportive polices, the state clearly has the potential to forefront the transition towards a green, high-value economy and UOB will be happy to support this ambition," she said. Meanwhile, CCB Malaysia deputy managing director Chelsea Ma Yan said that the company is dedicated to providing more comprehensive financial services to industries in Sarawak, in support of its aspiration to become a high-income state by 2030.

The project is scheduled for pilot testing by the third quarter of 2023, and planned to begin full operations in stages by the fourth quarter of 2025, said the joint statement .

Once operational, each train can carry up to 300 passengers across the 69.9km Phase 1 alignment of KUTS covering the Kuching metropolitan and Greater Kuching areas.

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