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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

SCORE gets US$11 bln investment

1MDB, China’s utility giant seal agreement to venture into major projects in corridor

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) have sealed an agreement to jointly venture into major projects in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

“I understand that these projects will have a potential value of US$11 billion (US$1=RM3.34),” said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

1MDB is wholly-owned by the Malaysian government, set up recently to drive strategic initiatives for long-term sustainable economic development and promote foreign direct investment into the country while SGCC is China’s leading power transmission and distribution company.

A cooperation framework agreement was signed between them, witnessed by Najib, here yesterday.

Present were Sarawak Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, SGCC president and chief executive officer Liu Zhenya and IMDB chairman Tan Sri Che Lodin Wok Kamaruddin.

“I see this cooperation as the beginning of a win-win partnership towards the development of catalytic projects in SCORE that will benefit the two companies as well as stimulate long term economic growth in Sarawak and Malaysia.

“The entry of SGCC and its significant investment in SCORE will be an added boost to economic ties between China and Malaysia,” Najib said. He said this would pave the way for more substantial investments from China and globally into Malaysia.

He believed that SGCC’s confidence in Sarawak would inspire even more confidence in Malaysia as the preferred investment destination among global investors.

Najib also said that he was impressed with the speed at which 1MDB and SGCC reached the agreement.

“When I visited China in June last year to renew our commitments to friendship and economic ties between China and Malaysia, there was an expression of interest by the Chinese in possible ventures in SCORE.

“This interest was crystalised when the Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Malaysia in November last year.

“Now, within a very short period, 1MDB and SGCC will be collaborating to identify, plan and execute a number of multi-billion-ringgit joint projects in SCORE,” he said.

According to a statement issued jointly by 1MDB and SGCC, the planned investments will see a significant increase in the current planned projects in SCORE which now totals US$24 billion.

“The two companies intend to jointly pursue a variety of projects in SCORE, with the ultimate intent to act as major investors in SCORE as a whole.

“The projects currently envisaged by the two companies may create as much as US$11 billion worth of economic value,” it said.

Besides negotiations between the two companies, both 1MDB and SGCC will also work together to engage the relevant authorities in both countries on legal compliance and securing project approvals.

The statement also quoted Liu as saying that his government was fully aware of Malaysia’s potential and “we will continue to promote Malaysia to our companies as an investment location.”

Meanwhile, 1MDB chief executive officer Shahrol Halmi was quoted as saying that the proposed ventures could bring almost immediate positive socio-economic impact, creating jobs and enabling technology and knowledge transfer.

“All this will benefit long-term sustainable economic development as well as promote the inflow of foreign direct investment,” he added. — Bernama

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