3 June 2013
FOURTH EXTENSION? Terminal expected to be completed in first quarter of next year
The completion of klia2, the new low cost terminal in Sepang, has been delayed because certain contractors kept asking for extension.
The completion date has been delayed three times. It was to be completed in April 2012 but was delayed to October 2012 and then April 2013 before the latest June 28 deadline, which now has also been revised.
The airport, which is designed to handle 45 million passengers a year, is now expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year, said a source.
The source said Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) was promised that the airport’s terminal building would be completed on May 1, which was why it committed to the June 28 opening.
“However, the contractors notified MAHB two weeks ago that they could not meet the deadline and have asked to extend the klia2 opening date to February 1 2014,” the source said.
Another factor that contributed to the delay was changes to the job scope, the source said.
He told Business Times that the many changes led the work packages to rise from 37 to 51.
This in turn had caused the cost to balloon to RM4 billion from the original RM2 billion.
Due to these factors, it is unfair to point fingers at MAHB for the delays, said the source.
klia2 was conceptualised under the National Airport Master Plan, which was finalised in 2008 under two consultants, namely KLIA
Consultancy Services (KLICS), a consultant for the Kuala Lumpur International Airport project, and Netherland Airport Consultants B.V.(NACO).
“In 2009, MAHB, under instructions from the Finance Ministry, appointed KLICS as the project management consultant. Its scope was to handle the design, construction, consultancy and tendering processes,” said the source.
MAHB was tasked by the ministry to award the tenders to eligible contractors.
However, MAHB decided to take over as klia2 project manager in 2011 after the project was delayed, the source said.
“The terminal building was 166 days late, runaway was 244 days late and earthwork for the apron was 82 days late.”
The terminal’s original plan was to cater to 20 million passengers a year. However, MAHB decided to increase the terminal’s size due to the booming budget travel sector.
According to the source, the scope changes include a 71.3 per cent increase in terminal size from 150,000 square metres to 257,000 sq m, installation of a fully automated baggage handling system, an additional 68 gates and 80 aerobridges and taller air traffic control tower from 77m to 93m.
“Currently, the new terminal is about 90 per cent completed, except for the terminal building,” said another source.
Some of the work like the installation of the automatic baggage handling system and ticketing counters cannot be started as the main terminal building has yet to be completed.
MAHB had announced to Bursa Malaysia recently that it “will impose liquidated ascertained damages on those contractors and any other recourse available to the operator under contract”.
The sources revealed that the contractors could pay up to RM200,000 a day if more delays occur.