ELSEWHERE IN ASIA
- From: Vol 6, Issue 7 (July 2005)
- Category: Need to know
- Region: Asia
- Country: Singapore
- Related Companies: Gold IS Bhd, Hyflux, PBA Holdings Bhd and SembCorp Utilities
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Singapore’s entrepreneurs are not slacking: this month saw a fresh crop of deals announced by Singaporean businesses.
Hyflux announced a Memorandum of Understanding for a S$160 million wastewater treatment project in Changchun City, China. SembCorp hit a yearly high of S$2.76 after the firm announced three new deals worth
US$911 million, including a JV with the commercial arm of Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone. The JV, 80% owned by SembCorp, will expand, own and operate a wastewater treatment facility. Expected investment for SembCorp’s second project in China comes to US$24 million. The JV partners are looking for $14 million debt financing.
In Malaysia, Penang’s successful corporatised water company, PBA Holdings, is starting a big investment drive, allocating US$100 million to $130 million to new water development projects over the next five years. The company should be celebrating this month with the commissioning of its first 50,000m3/d water treatment plant in Yichun City, China.
Other Malaysian companies active in China included Salcon, which won a contract for a 20,000m3/d water treatment plant in Chenggong County, Yunnan, with the possibility of further expansion. Chairman Razali Ismail says his new investments in China are moving into high gear – the company is already looking at how to carry out the upgrade. Gold IS Bhd’s subsidiary Gold Water (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. signed heads of agreement at the end of June with Tie Ling City for the proposed takeover of a 100,000 t/d (ton per day) wastewater treatment plant, as well as a 50,000m3/d water treatment plant. If the deal goes through, Gold Water will manage the projects for 30 years and will have the right to collect tariffs for an estimated RMB125 million. Tie Ling is also hoping to promote the use of recycled water obtained after sewage treatment.
In the Philippines, the World Bank has approved a US$64 million loan for Manila’s wastewater system. The development of the city’s sewage system was originally covered in the city’s two concession contracts signed in 1997. But the cost of extending provision meant that the targets were watered down and the World Bank has had to come in to pick up the slack, as only 15% of the population so far has sewage services. Ten wastewater treatment plants will be constructed and septic tank treatment facilities expanded.
In a grisly development in the story of the Melamchi water project in Kathmandu, Nepal, the former executive director of the project has committed suicide, poisoning himself by swallowing insecticide. He was to be investigated, along with the former prime minister and the former minister of Public Works, in connection with a corruption scandal involving construction contracts for the project. If any more evidence was needed that this is an ill-fated project, this is it.