The East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) project could cost up to RM15 billion more than its current RM55 billion price tag due to expenses that have yet to be factored in, according to a report.
Citing sources, The Edge reported that the additional costs will be for double tracking the 688km line, as well as for the acquisition of land along the route from Port Klang, Selangor, to Pengkalan Kubor, Kelantan.
The financial paper said the final price for the ECRL could be between RM60 billion and RM70 billion.
Previously, Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming had raised queries about whether the ECRL would be a single track or double track line.
Promotional materials for the project depict a double-track line, whereas the environmental impact assessment report for Phase One of the project appears to suggest that the project will involve only single-track rail lines.
In Section 5 of the report, it reads “The ECRL will be an electrified single-track railway line built on a double track-formation…”
The ECRL is one of the cornerstones of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's development endeavours, and will be funded by a soft loan from China’s Exim Bank.
Beijing will be able to select the contractor for the project as part of the condition of the loan.
However, the Malaysian government has said it will request that the contractor ensures the appropriate level of local participation in the project.