ARCHIVE: November 2022
Our journey IN water engineering
The restoration of Yen So Park and the completion of Yen So Sewage Treatment Plant transformed the southern gateway into Hanoi city.
When the Sungai Rasau water treatment plant came up for tender, there was no question about who should be brought in to help secure the project.
The person is none other than Khor Thiam Chay, the director of Gamuda Water. Khor, after all, played an instrumental role in Gamuda’s two notable water infrastructure projects – the Sungai Selangor Dam, our first dam and water treatment plant construction and operation project and the award-winning Yen So Sewage Treatment Plant in Hanoi, Vietnam, where he was the project manager.
It is no wonder, then, that Julian Yeap, Gamuda Engineering’s executive director, roped Khor in to be a part of the Sungai Rasau Water Supply Scheme (Stage 1) tender team.
“I played an active role providing my knowledge and experience with the aim of putting in an optimised and workable design, the team putting out our best foot, writing the best and compiling the best tender we could,” Khor, 68, shares.
Khor (centre) with some Gamuda Engineering site staff at the Yen So project site.
Gamuda bagged the RM1.97 billion contract from Pengurusan Air Selangor on July 1 this year, where Khor serves as the project director with a team of 120 staff.
“Seeing that we are able to compete with other reputable water players in the water industry and winning the Sungai Rasau project is a moment to be proud of,” Khor, who started off as an engineer in the Malaysian Public Works Department in 1978, adds.
Once completed in three years’ time, this new plant will treat polluted raw water from the Klang River that’s pumped into off-river storages provided by a series of ex-mining ponds near Taman Putra Prima, Puchong.
This is an especially important project for Gamuda. It’s our first water-related project on our home ground after more than 20 years, according to Khor.
And if the previous two projects are any indication, Gamuda’s innovative spirit to seek engineering breakthroughs will make this another exemplary endeavour.
“This is a plant incorporating advanced treatment processes in view of the polluted nature of the Klang River. The experience gained constructing this scheme will put Gamuda on an even better level when bidding for future water projects,” Khor enthuses.
Could this be a gamechanger, then? Perhaps.
Khor reveals that previously, “no one would have thought of using the Klang River, which passes through a degraded catchment as a drinking water source, preferring to import cleaner raw water from as far away as Pahang via an expensive interstate-water transfer scheme”.
But when the water treatment plant is completed, with advanced treatment steps like ozonation and biological activated carbon (BAC) filtration – safe drinking water for consumers is ensured. Sufficient standby equipment built into the design ensures minimal or no disruption in the water supply throughout the life cycle of the plant.
“Redundancy of power supply, a high degree of equipment standby provision, oversized treatment process structures, pre-treatment in the off-river storages, Industrialised Building System (IBS), Building Information Modelling (BIM) and green building elements are other features differentiating this plant,” says Khor.
The Sungai Selangor Dam is Gamuda’s first dam construction project.
What a way to set an industry standard. Indeed, Gamuda’s water infrastructure journey over the years has been one of establishing benchmarks.
The Sungai Selangor Dam remains the largest water supply dam in Malaysia to date, playing a central role in ensuring enough supply in the Klang Valley. In fact, it was via this project that Khor joined the Gamuda family in 2000 through its associated company Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor Sdn. Bhd. (SPLASH) as its senior manager. After the completion of the Sungai Selangor Dam and the Rasa and Bukit Badong water treatment plants, collectively called the Sungai Selangor Water Supply Scheme (SSP3), Khor recommended that an operating company be formed and this led to the formation of Gamuda Water in 2003, which operates the above facilities to this day.
And the environmental rehabilitation of the Yen So Park and Yen So Lakes remain a remarkable turnaround story to this very day, transforming one of Hanoi’s most polluted and inhospitable areas into a thriving green lung that is award-winning.
And when a Gamudian whose personal philosophy is to “always be eager to acquire knowledge and experience and put it to good use ” is in charge of the Sungai Rasau project, you know it’s all about pushing the boundaries of the industry.
“We need to have a never say die attitude, innovate and stay relevant with the tides of change taking place all around us,” Khor emphasises.
He reckons that the Sungai Rasau project will be an “excellent training ground for engineers, young and old alike …it is hoped that with valuable experience gained from the Sungai Rasau project, they will be competent enough to bid for future water projects”.
Looking beyond the water treatment plant, Khor hopes Gamuda will continue to be competitive and secure new projects in 2023.
“On water-related projects, for example, Penang is now running short of water and we have a couple of proposals which we think can be put forward to the Penang government for its consideration.
“If we are able to secure these projects, it will be a great opportunity for the company to grow its water expertise, enhancing the company profile even further,” says Khor.
After all, says Khor (quoting British-American poet W.H. Auden), “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water”.
Khor leads a team of 120 staff at the Rasau WTP Site Office at Bandar Rimbayu.
WE'RE HEADED UNDERGROUND!
Six months after being awarded the contract to deliver the Sydney Metro West – Western Tunnelling Package, excavation work has started.
The Clyde Dive team has commenced excavation of the shaft that will be used to build the spur tunnels linking the Metro West line to the Stabling and Maintenance Facility at Clyde.
The shaft will be excavated to a depth of 28 metres before three large road header tunnelling machines are lowered underground by crane to commence tunnelling. The twin spur tunnels will be approximately 750 metres long each and will meet up underground with the twin metro tunnels. The spur tunnels and underground caverns must be ready for the mega Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) to arrive in late 2023.
This is the first of many underground milestones for the Gamuda Australia and Laing O’Rourke Consortium as we deliver our piece of this iconic transport project for Western Sydney.
MELBOURNE ON THE MOVE
Just when the Gamuda team was starting to fill up the Melbourne head office, there’s been a mass exodus to the Suburban Rail Loop Joint Venture office as work for the bid well gets underway. Gamuda is teaming up with John Holland for this impressive infrastructure project which will see approximately 26km of twin tunnels constructed. The new rail infrastructure will connect major employment, health, education and retail destinations in Melbourne’s east and southeast with six stations connecting the new rail line between the suburbs of Cheltenham and Box Hill.
The Suburban Rail Loop East package is expected to cost between AUD$30 to AUD$34.5 billion, with the new line running trains by 2035.
The project is jointly funded by the Victorian state government and the Australian federal government, and it’s expected that building this rail infrastructure will create up to 8,000 direct local jobs.
Time is tight with the submission due in February 2023. The team has just passed the bronze review date with the silver review due early December. The team has come together quickly and is working well to produce an outstanding submission to progress to the next stage of the process. The contract award will be in 2023.
Gamuda Land Expands International Footprint
While maintaining resilient progress in Malaysia, Gamuda Land continues to broaden its international market reach with its ongoing projects are expected to double the company’s sales figure to RM8 billion, representing a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of about 25 percent in five years.
The strategy is anchored in three key areas. Firstly, keeping a 50:50 sales ratio between local and overseas projects, especially in our identified growth markets, namely Vietnam, Australia, United Kingdom and Singapore.
Next is to create an optimum balance between Gamuda Land’s township developments and quick-turnaround projects (QTPs) where returns are forecasted to be within five years of the development, with an option of reinvestment.
Thirdly, to balance the company’s portfolio in commercial and industrial spheres. This is especially true for Vietnam, where economic prospects are good with plenty of FDIs (foreign direct investments) and job creation, which naturally enhances the population’s disposable income.
The Opportunities in Australia and the United Kingdom
Australia and the United Kingdom are familiar markets as they have similar legal systems, parliamentary setup and more. Both countries are also global education powerhouse.
With the experience of building 661 Chapel St. coupled with Gamuda Land’s team in Australia, we see pockets of opportunity for strategic land deals when China developers left Australia due to capital restrictions.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom remains Europe’s dominant financial hub, with banks, law firms and tech companies setting up offices and shops, which presents opportunities to supply homes to these talents working in London.
Commercial property opportunities are expected to rise as more corporations are adopting Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices and will be looking to house their corporate offices in sustainable developments. This is where Gamuda Land’s expertise comes into play.
The Canopy on Normanby in Melbourne, Australia
As one of the key overseas markets, Gamuda Land is focused on building a strong pipeline of residential projects in Australia over the next five years with 1,000 apartment units.
The Canopy on Normanby (The Canopy), Gamuda Land’s second development in Australia is located approximately 1.2km from the Melbourne Central Business District. The development is, in an up-and-coming precinct within Fishermans Bend, Australia’s largest urban renewal project covering approximately 480 hectares in the heart of Melbourne.
Spanning over 20 levels, The Canopy will feature a host of green building features and biophilic designs connecting residents with nature. Among the features are a biophilic spine with dedicated areas for work and recreation amongst green spaces; cascading green walls along the corridors, lobbies and terraces, a deck atop incorporating lush green planting and resident amenities such as a Japanese-inspired onsen, urban farming beds and a meditation as well as a wellness studio.
Two additional aspects making this project interesting are Gamuda Land is working closely with the local council to develop a 3,000 sqm public park adjacent to The Canopy. The park will be home to over 6,000 carefully selected native trees and plants using the Miyawaki technique. Adopting the Miyawaki planting technique will create a park that is 30 times denser, with trees that grow 10 times faster and are sustainable and easier to maintain in the future.
Next, The Canopy will be the first residential project in Melbourne to feature a Ground Source Heat Pump and rooftop solar array – designed to produce a combined output of approximately 15 percent of the entire building’s maximum energy requirement, therefore needing less electricity and gas. This means that residents can enjoy lower energy bills for their property heating.
The Canopy Display Suite will be completed by the end of November 2022 and will feature a mini-forest and indoor landscaping to demonstrate its biophilic focus.
West Hampstead Central in London, United Kingdom
The West Hampstead Central project in London is an 85:15 ratio joint venture between Gamuda Land and Astir Living Ltd, slated to be completed in early 2024.
Featuring an architectural design inspired by the area’s vernacular mansion blocks, West Hampstead Central pays tribute to both English heritage and contemporary design.
West Hampstead Central enjoys a prime location within London with many of the capital’s top attractions and neighbourhoods within walking distance, a quick bike or tube ride away. Well-supported by overground, rail and tube stations within a 2-min walking distance, travelling for work or leisure is easy.
The enviable location is just a stone’s throw away from independent shops, bars, restaurants and cafes, boutique gyms, fitness studios, art galleries and more, with easy access to tree-lined streets and beautiful green spaces. Finchley Road, home to large supermarket branches and Hampstead Village are approximately one mile away.
Well-positioned for educational opportunities, West Hampstead offers a wide choice of schools, colleges and universities within easy reach. The renowned London Business School is only 15 minutes away by bike.
Foundation works are completed, and are now going into structural works. The project has also garnered some £20 million in sales.
Moving forward, Gamuda Land targets an average of five new projects per year for the next five years, for its local and overseas portfolios. There will be more QTPs, including offices and industrial parks, especially in Malaysia and Vietnam, for the latter.
Gamuda Land unveils West Hampstead Central in London (first UK property) and The Canopy on Normanby in Melbourne (second Australian property).
GAMUDA SINGAPORE TAKES ON SITCE 2022
Gamuda Singapore recently participated in the LTA-UITP Singapore International Transport Congress and Exhibition (SITCE) 2022, held in Singapore. The focus of this year’s event was “Heartbeat of Mobility”, bringing together policymakers, urban planners, operators and solution providers across the globe to discuss and improve the public transport landscape. Two people shared their takeaways from the 3-day action-packed exhibition.
Gamuda Engineering executive director of Digital and Innovation, Ts. John Lim Ji Xiong
Tell us about your experience in sharing the Group’s digital construction expertise among SITCE 2022 attendees.
We had the pleasure of demonstrating our construction technologies, such as the Autonomous Tunnel Boring Machine (A-TBM), Building Information Modelling (BIM) and 3D Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) Survey, to a wide range of audiences, including the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) deputy chief operating officer, Mr Chua Chong Kheng. It was an educational experience, as many have not seen the inside of a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) control cabin. Upon understanding how difficult it is to drive a TBM, participants were amazed at how the A-TBM could take on many of the key functions of driving a TBM at the click of a button. We received positive feedback from the participants, praising Gamuda’s innovation efforts in the construction space.
How will we utilise the knowledge gained from other participants at SITCE 2022 in Gamuda’s future business strategy or projects across the Group?
Through this event, we have seen how technology is pervasive in shaping government and corporate strategies in the transportation industry. There is a clear theme of driving progress from electric buses to cloud-based mobility solutions and tunnelling solutions. Innovation is in our DNA, thus as a Group, we must continue to differentiate ourselves as an innovative contractor. Technology should be highly embedded into our processes and offerings to create a unique organisational strength. We need to go beyond being mere users. We need to develop new technology and systems that have an impact on the global issues of today.
Ts. John Lim Ji Xiong showcasing the one-of-a-kind A-TBM simulator to the Singapore Land Transport Authority team. Shipped from our Kuala Lumpur office to the SITCE 2022 event, the simulator allows eager participants to experience what it is like to drive the world’s first A-TBM.
Gamuda Singapore general manager of Digital and Technical, Wong Keam Tong
How do you think our innovation in digital construction, such as the A-TBM and the BIM is essential in propelling the future of tunnelling in Singapore?
How do our infrastructure projects in Singapore align with Singapore Green Plan 2030 – Resilient Future pillar?
Gamuda Engineering managing director, Justin Chin Jing Ho (back row, third from left) and Gamuda Singapore general manager of Digital and Technical, Wong Keam Tong (back row, most right) with representatives from Gamuda Singapore and Gamuda Berhad.
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ADVISORS: Justin Chin Jing Ho, Ngan Chee Meng
CHIEF EDITORS: Dr. Bhavani Krishna lyer, Ong Jee Lian
COPY EDITORS: Faslika Das, Dinesh Kumar Maganathan, Kaarthiega Anantan
DESIGNER: Rafy Hamid, Tan Yee Chung