3 TRX parcels under negotiations

On-site progress is the near-completion of RM163mil worth of infrastructure works

The development of the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) is on schedule, with negotiations underway with investors for three more parcels, according to 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd (1MDB RE).

On-site progress is the near-completion of RM163mil worth of infrastructure works with pre-qualification exercise for the second package underway, having started late last year.

The total infrastructure cost of the entire 70-acre financial and business district is estimated to be close to RM3bil. Work started in 2013, said 1MDB RE chief executive officer Datuk Azmar Talib.

So far, the TRX has attracted four investors. They are the Lend Lease group with 17 acres, Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) (1.56 acres), Indonesia’s Mulia group (3.4 acres) and Affin Bank Bhd (1.25 acres).

Australia-based Lend Lease will be building a mall, a five-star hotel and three apartment blocks on the 17 acres. LTH will be building a residential tower, while Mulia and Affin will be building offices. The gross floor area for TRX is 21 million sq ft.

Ground works for Signature Tower started in July. Other work-in-progress involves the relocation of the market traders to another site in Pudu this year.

1MDB RE is the wholly owned subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

“We want people to know what we are trying to do here (in TRX). Things are not there yet. We have not created the development (we want) but we are working towards this,” he said.

Azmar was updating trade magazines yesterday on a renewable 20-year water concession agreement with France-based Veolia Water Technologies Southeast Asia for wastewater treatment and recycled water supply in TRX.

Azmar said in order to be the No. 1 business address, the water component had to be among the earliest infrastructure to be designed and built.

“We don’t want to just buy a technology but we want the (vendor) to partake in the risk as well. They themselves must believe in what they are selling. So, we have given Veolia a 20-year concession. It will design, bring in its technology and generate an income over a 20-year period,” said Azmar.

Speaking on behalf of Veolia, commercial director (operations and maintenance for South-East Asia) Duncan Briggs said the wastewater treatment plant would take about two years to be built, with the actual construction of the plant to begin next year.

It currently has four plants in Malaysia, and one each in Thailand and Singapore.

On Veolia’s investment and revenue, he said revenue was “not cast in stone” with a long concession such as this.

On “the potential for things to slow down”, considering the current environment, Briggs said it understood that but the project was “viable”.

The plant will be custom designed to treat 13,500 cu m per day. - By The Star