WCEH says West Coast Expressway 50% complete

04 Sep 2018 / 11:00 H.

    SUBANG JAYA: Highway construction firm WCE Holdings Bhd (WCEH), which has yet to receive clear direction from the government on highway toll abolition, said the RM6 billion West Coast Expressway (WCE) project is over 50% complete and five sections will open before June next year.
    WCEH is the 80% owner of West Coast Expressway Sdn Bhd, which is the concessionaire holder of the WCE project. WCE is 20%-owned by IJM Corp.
    It is understood that WCEH shareholders raised concerns over the new government's further decision on the abolition of highway toll collection at yesterday's AGM, which lasted for almost three hours.
    The toll abolition plan was among the promises in Pakatan Harapan's 100-day manifesto.
    "As far as WCEH is concerned, our focus now is to complete the highway and start the operations next year," WCEH managing director Datuk Neoh Soon Hiong told SunBiz after the group's AGM.

    However, he noted that there will be delayed completion for two sections of the highway projects, namely Section 7B and Section 11 due to the consideration (process) by the government.
    "We expect these two sections to be completed in 2022," Neoh said.
    Once completed, the WCE will connect the main coastal towns including Klang, Kuala Selangor, Teluk Intan, Setiawan, Manjung and Hutan Melintang, among others, which are now only connected with a trunk road.
    The highway will span some 233km with 21 interchanges, of which, 10 are in Selangor and 11 in Perak. It will also be linked to existing highways including the North-South Expressway, South Klang Valley Expressway, North Klang Valley Expressway and Shah Alam Expressway.
    As of now, Neoh said that the group has awarded all tenders for highway construction works, except for the 10km Section 7B package as it had just received the approval from the state and the federal governments.
    "We plan to call tender for the last section in two months time. That will be the last tender for WCE," Neoh said.
    According to WCEH chief financial officer Lyndon Alfred Felix, the group's profit currently is almost 100% derived from the Bandar Rimbayu development via its indirect 40%-owned associate Bandar Rimbayu Sdn Bhd.
    However, toll operation is expected to start contributing to the group's top line periodically from next year onwards.
    Shares of WCEH fell half a sen or 0.66% to close at 75 sen yesterday.


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