We won’t proceed with Changi Motorsports Hub re-tender: Singapore Sports Council

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SSC CEO Lim Teck Yin delivers the death knell for the troubled Changi Motorsports Hub. (Yahoo! photo)

The beleaguered Changi Motorsports Hub project is finally dead in the water.

In its latest progress update on Wednesday morning, the Singapore Sports Council said it would not be proceeding with the re-tender of the troubled facility.

Despite receiving a total of seven proposals, all failed to meet SSC criteria for it to be completely privately run.

Proposals ranged from an FIA Grade 2 circuit, a racing academy, a drag strip, a theme park and a Watersports Arena.

SG Changi, the consortium which paid S$36 million for the 41-hectare site, will now take a year to reinstate the land and return it to the Singapore Land Authority.

It will be refunded the money minus holding and administrative costs.

“The SSC has decided not to proceed with the re-tender as potential investors had indicated significant combined conditions for the project to be commercially viable, which we cannot accede to," said SSC chief Lim Teck Yin.

Key requirements from potential investors included requests for flexibility of lease terms and land use as well as tax concessions. For example, with regard to flexibility of lease terms, there were requests for extensions of duration and pricing below valuation.

“The land take and proposed use under this project do not justify an operating model that involves significant government subsidies or concessions. After careful consideration and in consultation with other government agencies, we have decided not to proceed with the re-tender,” added Lim.

In Dec 2011, the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) terminated its project delivery agreement with SG Changi after work on the hub was brought to a halt after the consortium failed to deliver an installment for piling work for the S$370 million project.

The initial proposal for the hub was for it to feature world-class motorsports facilities including a 3.7 kilometre track, grandstands, motorsports museum and an entertainment centre.

After the project stalled, SSC announced in May last year it would conduct a market sounding and request for information (RFI) exercise to assess the level of interest among potential investors for a motorsports hub or other sports and lifestyle concepts but it would have final say on whether to proceed with a re-tender.

Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim picks Malaysia over Singapore to build a motorsports hub (Photo: www.Cheryl-Tay.com)

Earlier this year, Singapore billionaire investor Peter Lim partnered Malaysian state-owned UEM Land to build an integrated motorsports hub in Iskandar, Johor, of which he has a 70 per cent stake, under his company FASTrack Autosports.

Estimated to cost about RM 3.5 billion (S$1.4 billion), the target is to have Motorsports City operationally ready by 2016. This announcement came shortly after he got approval to build Vantage Bay, a RM10 billion (S$4 billion) healthcare project in Iskandar too.

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