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PETALING JAYA: Integrated facilities management service provider GFM Services Bhd has entered into a joint venture agreement with Amzass (M) Sdn Bhd to collaborate and complete the upgrade of the Northbound and Southbound Bemban lay-bys in Malacca located along the PLUS Malaysia Bhd North-South Expressway into Rest and Service Areas (RSA).

GFM executive vice-chairman Ruslan Nordin said the Bemban lay-bys are equipped with basic facilities such as washrooms, surau and roadside food stalls.

“The lay-bys will be developed into a modern and contemporary RSA featuring full facilities with the aim of delivering an optimum experience to visitors.

With a combined gross floor area of 20,000 square metre, the proposed two-storey RSA will have a bigger commercial space with a variety of food and retail stalls, kiosks, outlets. Apart from having a food hall, we intend to bring in major convenience, and food and beverage (F&B) chains and local established restaurant brands to cater to a wide pool of travelers. We are confident that our initiatives will attract a large crowd to the RSA,” he said in a statement today.

GFM will build a petrol station on both sides of the Bemban RSA under the Dealer Own, Dealer Operate arrangement, where GFM will construct, own and operate these petrol stations.

“High-power electric vehicle (EV) charging stations will also be built, offering on-the-go convenience to drivers who want to recharge their EVs during their travels,“ it said.

Ruslan said the construction of the RSA and petrol station is anticipated to commence in 2022 with an estimated capital expenditure of RM80 million, which will be funded by GFM’s internally generated funds and bank borrowings.

He said the design of the proposed RSA would be incorporated with smart technology with green building characteristics.

He said the group would seek advice on asset and facilities management solutions from its associate company Tanand Technology Sdn Bhd, an Internet of Things solutions provider.

“We have experience in providing total asset lifecycle solutions to greenfield development of public infrastructures that incorporate environmental, social and governance elements to make the facilities carbon neutral.

“The PLUS North-South Expressway links major cities and towns in West Peninsular Malaysia and is a significant mover of people and goods.

“About 25,000 travelers visit the RSAs daily, translating to a total of more than nine million visitors per year. The rest stops can become congested, especially during peak periods such as public holidays and festive seasons. Hence, our proposed Bemban RSA will relieve the congestion at existing stop areas along the expressway,” he said.

He said the project has been part of the group’s plans to accelerate its growth and the partnership with Amzass enabled the group to enlarge its scope of services and fortify its position in the concessions segment.

Amzass has been authorised by the Malaysian Highway Authority to upgrade the existing facilities of the Bemban lay-bys, as well as to construct a petrol station on both sides of the proposed RSA. The Bemban lay-bys are situated in Malacca, between the RSA of Ayer Keroh, Malacca and Pagoh, Johor.

The JV is pursuant to the heads of agreement between the two parties for GFM to acquire up to 70%-stake in Amzass.

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