U.S. Water News Online
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Work will start soon on a Japanese-funded tunnel that will deliver water to Malaysia's most developed state to ease anticipated shortages, the government said.
The 28-mile (45-kilometer) tunnel will be able to transfer almost 530,000 gallons (2 million liters) of water a day from the Semantan River in eastern Pahang to central Selangor state until 2025, said a statement by the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water.
The $373 million (1.3 billion ringgit) tunnel is expected to take five years to complete.
The tunnel is part of a bigger project to provide water to Malaysia's biggest city, Kuala Lumpur, and the surrounding Selangor state, where authorities fear shortages due to population growth, polluted river basins and rapid industrialization.
Construction of the project's other components — a dam, water pump station and pipes — is expected to begin next March and also be completed by 2014, the statement said.
The project is funded mainly through loans from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, as well as by the federal government.
The 5.2-meter (17-feet) diameter tunnel will descend from the highlands of Pahang state, cutting through the metamorphosed bedrock and granite of the Central Mountain Range.
The companies in charge of the project are IJM Corporation Bhd, UEM Builders Bhd, Shimizu Corp. and Nishimatsu Construction Co. Ltd.
Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Peter Chin Fah Kui was quoted by the Star as saying he is confident Nishimatsu “can do the job.” The Japanese company was held responsible by an inquiry for a highway collapse in Singapore in 2004.
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