Construction, operation deal agreed for Malaysia-backed water project in Tianjin

By Huang Ge in Tianjin Source:Global Times Published: 2016/11/3 21:58:40

Xianda (Tianjin) Seawater Resources Development Co, a leading environmental engineering firm in Asia, announced Thursday a construction and operation agreement for the first zero-liquid discharge seawater desalination project in China.

The deal takes place during Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's seven-day visit, which started from Monday, in China. He said at the signing ceremony held in North China's Tianjin on Thursday that this is "an iconic project that makes Malaysians proud."

As one of the eight major business deals signed during the Malaysia-China Economic Summit in 2013, the project was launched in Nangang Industrial Zone in Tianjin in 2014 and developed by Xianda (Tianjin), a wholly owned subsidiary formed by Xianda Resources (Hong Kong) Co, which is under Malaysia-based Xianda Group.

Mah Sau Cheong, chairman and CEO of Xianda Group, said that Nangang is a world-class petrochemical industrial zone that is part of the plan for Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei collaborative development. That regional plan is one of the major development strategies of China.

"We have equipment and capability to design, build and operate the project and are capable of ensuring the quality. We will expand our engagement in China by enhancing investment, increasing technology transfers and by strengthening our responsibility for environmental protection and corporate social responsibility," Mah said.

"China has a large market, which is attractive for Malaysian capital. We want to use this project as a platform to build confidence for Malaysian companies to beef up their business cooperation with Chinese enterprises in the future," Cheng Jew Kien, COO of Xianda (Tianjin), told the Global Times on Thursday.

The Malaysian government is giving full support to the project, as it is representative of Malaysian investment in China and offers a large scale and high-quality technology, Cheng noted.

"Malaysia always welcomes Chinese companies to invest in the country," he said.

Following an initial 5.5 billion yuan ($813 million) investment agreement in 2014, this latest agreement comes in the form of a build-own-operate project lasting 50 years. The deal includes government support, pricing and operations, according to the company.

The project will start construction in 2017 and is expected to become operational in 2019. It has a total investment of 15 billion yuan.

As an integral part of the public utility hub in the Tianjin Nangang Industrial Zone, the project will produce a range of water products. The concentrated brine water produced from the desalination plant will also be used to produce salts and chemicals, Gary Podrabsky, CTO of Xianda (Tianjin), told the Global Times Thursday.

The project will help solve Tianjin's long-standing shortage of fresh water, clear a bottleneck in the development of the local petroleum and heavy chemical industries, and develop salt farms and a central new town in the Binhai New Area in Tianjin, according to the company.

Posted in: COMPANIES

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