PUTRAJAYA: A newly set-up company has joined the Works Ministry and the Sarawak Government in signing a memorandum of understanding to build the Sarawak portion of the 2,239km Pan Borneo Highway.
The company, Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd (LBU), has been appointed as Project Delivery Partner (PDP) to manage and supervise the project.
Sarawak was represented by state secretary Tan Sri Morshidi Abdul Ghani, while secretary-general Datuk Seri Zohari Akob signed for the ministry yesterday and LBU chairman Tan Sri Abang Ahmad Urai Abang Mohideen signed for the company.
The ceremony was witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa.
LBU will be the single point of accountability that is responsible in implementing, managing and completing the Sarawak portion of the highway at a reasonable cost and period agreeable by the Government.
In return, LBU will receive PDP’s fee based on an agreed Key Performance Indicator.
The Sarawak portion, a toll-free access known as the Pan Borneo Sarawak Highway, involves a stretch of 1,090km road linking Lundu and Lawas while the Sabah potion covers 727km.
The first phase of the Pan Borneo Sarawak Highway was launched by Najib in March, comprising the upgrading of the 43km Nyabau-Bakun road, a 33km single carriageway from Telok Melano in Tanjung Datu, which is the westernmost tip of Sarawak, to Semantan which begins in September.
The remaining sections, connecting Tanjung Datu to Miri and Tedungan to Merapok, are scheduled to be completed by mid-2023.
A ceiling budget of RM27bil has been set for the entire project.
Speaking to newsmen, Adenan said the highway would benefit Sarawak and Sabah the way the North-South Expressway did for the peninsula.
“The highway will not only help communication but also open up economic opportunities.”
Adenan added that Sarawak-based companies would be given priority in the projects.