GEORGE TOWN -- Construction work on the Penang Sentral Integrated Transport Hub in Butterworth is expected to begin next month, according to developer Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB).
MRCB executive director, Datuk Ahmad Zaki Zahid, said the company has solved all the land issues and the project could proceed as usual.
"The first phase of the project is expected to be completed before 2013," he told a media briefing here Thursday.
The hub, a component project of the Northern Corridor Economic Region, would be undertaken by a joint-venture between MRCB and Pelaburan Hartanah Bumiputra Bhd.
Ahmad Zaki said the actual cost of the project was expected to increase to RM2.7 billion.
He said first phase, which would cost RM400 million, involved the construction of bus and taxi terminals with access to the railway station and ferry terminal, along with retail outlets.
"The second phase, which would comprise a commercial hub, including office towers, service apartments, a hotel and waterfront amenities, is scheduled to start before the completion of the first phase," he said.
Ahmad Zaki said the project was expected to offer 2,500 jobs during the construction period and 15,000 once it was completed.
MRCB Selborn Corp Sdn Bhd, a unit of MRCB, has been appointed to manage the development, design, construction, completion and maintenance of Penang Sentral.
Designed by local company, Veritas Architects, the state-of-the-art Penang Sentral project was launched by former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on July 31, 2007.
The transport hub is expected to cater to approximately 65 million passengers a year.