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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wijaya Baru eyes US$3b jobs - Infrastructure work available in Vietnam

WIJAYA Baru Global Bhd has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a Vietnamese authority to bid for infrastructure projects worth an estimated US$3 billion (RM9.8 billion).

The potential jobs in three districts in Ho Chi Minh City include the construction of an elevated highway, flood mitigation, a water treatment plant, solid waste treatment and garbage collection.

Wijaya Baru deputy chief executive officer Faizal Abdullah said that it is conducting a viability study, to be completed by the year-end, on the projects.

"We do not want to rush into it. We want to carry out a detailed design and financial proposal, which will take about nine months (to complete)," he said in an interview.

"The projects will be nothing less than US$3 billion," he added.

"We have the first right of refusal for the projects," Faizal said, adding that the MOU was signed in February.

The elevated highway, flood mitigation and water treatment plant will be undertaken on a build-and-manage basis, while the solid waste treatment plant and garbage collection projects will be carried out on a build-operate-transfer.

"Once we start, it could take up to three years to complete," he said.

If Wijaya Baru finds the projects viable, it will look for a Vietnamese partner and hold the majority stake in the formation of a joint-venture company.

At present, Wijaya Baru is undertaking a RM340 million flood mitigation project in Selangor, which will be completed next year.

The company, which derives most of its revenue from timber, anticipates a large portion of its profits this year to come from infrastructure projects.

By New Straits Times (by Vasantha Ganesan)

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