The tender to replace Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s ageing aerotrains, estimated at RM400 million, is at the final stage of evaluation process.
Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd said it had identified a final shortlist of bidders for KLIA’s Automated People Mover (APM) tender after completing the technical evaluation stage.
The shortlisted bidders are now being assessed on their commercial offers.
The tender was expected to be concluded over the next two months, MAHB said in a statement.
“Malaysia Airports’ tender approach puts priority on first meeting its business objectives, as well as the project’s technical and performance requirements. All submissions are evaluated objectively and fairly according to the set requirements,” it added.
MAHB said all three aerotrains currently in operation in KLIA were due for replacement as the assets were approaching their end-of-life stage.
Two of the aerotrains have been in service since the airport first opened in 1998 with a third train added in 2010.
The company said in the last 20 years, APM technology had evolved significantly, superseding the one currently in use in KLIA and making the maintenance of an ageing asset unviable in terms of operational and cost efficiency.
The replacement trains would also be able to cater to the airport’s future growth, it added.
In 1998, KLIA’s Terminal 1 annual traffic movement was 13 million passengers before growing to 29 million passengers in 2019.
The tender was floated in July 2020 after MAHB had completed three feasibility studies to determine the best possible solution for connecting passengers between the main terminal and satellite buildings.
On top of the feasibility studies, the airport operator had also conducted a series of stakeholder engagements with the Ministry of Transport, the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia, the Malaysian Aviation Commission and the Land Public Transport Agency to gather the necessary feedback.
Following these, it was recommended that the best possible solution for KLIA was to do a like-for-like replacement of all systems related to the APM.
MAHB said a like-for-like replacement has the advantage of being the least disruptive, as well as the most practical and cost effective.
“However, it was also determined that the airport should be open to evaluate all other APM technology that is available in the market. This was in the spirit of promoting fair competition and to ensure that the chosen solution is the best fit in terms of performance requirements, the least disruptive in implementation, and based on the latest technology.”
In general, there are two main types of APM technology currently available in the market today involving the train and rail track systems namely self-propelled and cable-propelled.
“For KLIA, there were several criteria that were critical to its business requirements and therefore given more emphasis. One of which was that this new APM system is a brownfield replacement project in a busy airport.
“The airport is currently using a self-propelled system. As such, replacing the trains with similar but newer technology is the least disruptive in terms of operational downtime and infrastructure readiness. Other major criteria include the system’s reliability, availability, ease of maintenance, safety and flexibility in catering to future needs,” MAHB said.
MAHB said as part of the APM tender requirements, bidders were provided with three submission options:
First is the baseline submission, meaning a bid solely for the replacement of all three trains and their corresponding systems infrastructure.
Option 1 is a bid that includes the baseline submission plus the outsourced maintenance cost until 2034.
Option 2 is a bid that includes the baseline submission plus the outsourced maintenance cost and financing until 2034.
“These options were put on the table in order for Malaysia Airports to receive and review the best possible bid available on a total life cycle cost and different financing options basis,” it said.