Gamuda BhD acquires Australian specialist rail constructor Martinus Rail

Malaysian based rail and infrastructure company Gamuda Berhad is acquiring a 50 per cent equity stake in Martinus Rail, an independent Australian specialist rail constructor.

Announced in early October, Gamuda intends to leverage the significant pipeline of construction projects in Australia, estimated at $300 billion. The company will immediately bid for $20 billion worth of construction projects.

Gamuda Engineering Managing Director Datuk Ubull Din Om said the acquisition provides a springboard for Gamuda to contribute towards infrastructure development in Australia.

“This is similar to what we have successfully achieved in other nation building projects which have sustainably benefited the local supply chain in the economic and social segments,” Ubull said.

Gamuda, which works largely in Malaysia, is currently delivering a $10 billion Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line 2. The company will deliver a 53km metro rail system with 35 stations in one of the most challenging geotechnical conditions.

Martinus Rail has delivered large rail projects exceeding $200 million in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

Martinus Rail Managing Director Martinus Rail said the companies have complementary strengths in rail infrastructure construction.

“With the hefty balance sheet and mega project experience of Gamuda backing us, Martinus Rail is set for a bright future in the rail industry,” Martinus said.

Martinus Rail General Manager for New Business and Strategy, Ryan Baden, said Martinus Rail has grown significantly in recent years. Further growth, however, will require greater financial strength and experience in delivering more complex projects across all contract models.

“Going forward, we’re adding significant capability in civil and structural work in railway construction and can leverage ground-breaking innovation and engineering solutions to help deliver some of Australia’s largest rail projects,” Baden said.

Rail infrastructure work in Australia is expected to grow 14 per cent per annum until 2023 according to the BIS Oxford Economic Report published in July.

Port Adelaide rail extension in doubt due to increased costs

A report into the South Australian Government’s proposed construction of the Port Dock railway line and station has found the project will cost around $40 million, $24 million greater than initially budgeted.

The budget was intended to cover a one-kilometre spur line from Adelaide’s central business district to a new station at Port Adelaide’s commercial centre, Baker Street.

Further development of the spur and station have now been paused pending further investigation by the Public Transports Projects (PTP) Alliance.

“The initial $16 million of funding was committed without a full technical site assessment and concept design,” a report from the Public Transports Projects (PTP) Alliance read.

“Progressing through these has identified potential opportunities to further improve public transport services and connectivity for Port Adelaide and more broadly, the north western suburbs.”

South Australian Transport Minister Stephan Knoll said that “a responsible state government” needed to assess whether the notable increase in the project’s budget would deliver the best solution for the people of Port Adelaide and its surrounding areas.

Deputy Labor leader for South Australia Susan Close took to Twitter to criticise the Liberal state government’s decision, pointing out a photo showing thousands of concrete sleepers already in place at Port Adelaide for the spur’s construction.

Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy Mark Butler added that the Liberals were “attacking the Port by axing the Port Dock railway station [and] spur line”.

Knoll replied to Close’s tweet by stating that the sleepers were actually purchased for future maintenance and rail projects such as the Brighton and Torrens Road level crossings.

Trains haven’t run to Port Adelaide’s centre since 1981; the old station was demolished to make way for construction of the Port Adelaide Police Station and Magistrates’ Court.