Malaysia firm buys stake in Bahrain power plant
Manama, May 1, 2012
Investment agreements involving a new strategic partner in Hidd Power Company (HPC) were signed yesterday (April 30) between the Bahrain government and Malaysian independent power producer Malakoff Corporation Berhad (MCB).
Through its subsidiary Malakoff International Limited, MCB has purchased 40 per cent of HPC, Bahrain's power and water generation facility which emerged after the acquisition of Al Hidd Power and Water Station by an international consortium in 2006.
The agreements were signed by Finance Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Energy Minister Dr Abdulhussain Mirza and from the consortium International Power chief executive Phil Cox, Sumitomo regional chief David Barlow and Malakoff Corporation Berhad CEO Zainal Abidin Abd Jalil.
The signing ceremony was attended by Electricity and Water Authority CEO Shaikh Nawaf bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.
Shaikh Ahmed commended the move and said it underlined the confidence attributed to the national economy and its capacity to attract further foreign direct investment, thanks to Bahrain's status as a pre-eminent investment location in the region and a leading centre of financial, banking and business services.
"We are totally committed to enhancing the competitiveness of the economy and pursuing the implementation of the privatisation strategy in accordance with the guiding principles of the Economic Vision 2030 which identifies the private sector as the engine of economic growth," he said.
The minister praised MCB's achievements since its early beginnings in 1975 and its current status as Malaysia's premier power and water producer with an effective capacity of 5020 MW comprising six power stations.
He said that the local success soon led the company to expand internationally with interest in projects in a number of countries of the region.
"Through the efforts of our government, Bahrain has become a business-friendly country and a destination of choice for investment," he said.
"Malakoff has recognised this potential, and we in Bahrain welcome the its initiative to expand operations into Bahrain," the Minister added.
He noted that the energy sector in Bahrain had been open to foreign investment since 2004 in order to support the industrial development of the kingdom.
"Today's ceremony is a milestone towards completion of this major transaction," Cox said. "We thank the Finance Ministry and our existing partner Sumitomo for their support throughout the process and we already welcome our new partner, Malakoff, in Hidd Power Company.”
"With both our existing and new partner, we remain fully committed to providing Bahrain with the supply of power and water it needs for its development," he added.
"Malakoff is very proud to be part in this consortium," Jalil said.
"We look forward to working with the other substantial shareholders, namely IPR-GDF Suez and Sumitomo Corporation, to create more value for this partnership in the long-term," he added.
HPC provides almost 25 per cent of the power demand in Bahrain.
With a production capacity of 340 million litres of potable water per day, it meets 50 per cent of the requirements of the country. – TradeArabia News Service
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