Consultancy selected for Kuala Lumpur | Singapore high-speed rail project

09 January 2018 Authored by Consultancy.asia

Environmental consulting firm ERE Consulting of Malaysia has been awarded the contract to conduct a Social Impact Assessment study for the high-speed rail project connecting Kuala Lumpur with neighbouring Singapore.

Following a recent open tender, MyHSR, the Malaysian government-owned body overseeing the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail project (KL-SG HSR), have announced KL-based environmental consulting firm ERE as the winner of the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) contract as part of the project’s development.

With a head-office in Subang Jaya, and a branch in Kota Kinabalu to serve its clients in Sabah, Sarawak, and Brunei, ERE Consulting has grown from its humble roots in 1992 to now offer land use and natural resources planning and management advice to governments, NGOs and businesses across Asia, undertaking strategic environmental assessments to help formulate sustainable development policies.  

Slated for completion by the end of 2026, the KL-SG HSR project is a joint strategic initiative between the Governments of Malaysia and Singapore, aimed at enhancing business and social links between the countries, and the Express Service will run every half an hour while cutting the commuting time between the capitals to just 90 minutes.

Kuala Lumpur - Singapore high-speed rail project

Eight stations are currently planned for the line, covering Bandar, Sepang-Putrajaya, Seremban, Melaka, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri stations in Malaysia, along with the Jurong East station of Singapore. Passengers boarding at Bandar will be able to clear Singapore immigration before departure. 

According to the tender guidelines for the SIA, which is a requirement under Malaysian law for governmental mega-projects, ERE will be tasked with analysing the potential social and environmental land-use impacts through the three stages of its development – the pre-construction (planning and design), construction and operational phases – as well as determine effective measures to mitigate the identified impacts on affected communities.

Dato’ Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal, CEO of MyHSR, said in a statement that, as a component of the SIA study,  ERE will also “analyse all the feedback received from the Public Inspection exercise and will be conducting additional surveys and focus group discussions along the alignment.” In addition, the firm will be expected to carry out a heritage impact assessment to ensure project compliance with the relevant local planning policies.

On awarding the contract, the MyHSR spokesman noted the expertise that ERE had garnered from its previous work in the rail sector. “ERE Consulting Group has experience in conducting social impact assessments for equivalent projects such as the Sungai Buloh – Kajang MRT Line, the Sungai Buloh-Serdang- Putrajaya MRT Line, and the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) Phase 1 and Phase 2.”

Other previous local infrastructure planning projects that ERE have consulted on include the implementation of the environmental management plan for the Beris Dam in Kedah, and environmental auditing duties for the Penang second Bridge project connecting Penang Island to Seberang Prai on the mainland. 

The firm lays out its vision on its website: “We believe that meeting Asia’s growing need for food, shelter, energy, and transportation without sacrificing the natural ecosystems will continue to be a major challenge in the years ahead. By understanding the unique challenges faced by Asian countries, we help our clients to plan, manage, and ensure the sustainability of their operations and businesses.”

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