April 17, 2013 / 10:06 AM / in 5 years

Saudi firm to build $1.6 bln polysilicon plant in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s Project Management & Development Company Co. Ltd(PMD) will develop a $1.6 billion polysilicon manufacturing plant in Malaysia’s eastern state of Sarawak, the firm said in a statement on Wednesday.

The plant, which will be one of Asia’s largest, is part of the Sarawak’s $110 billion plan to leverage on its energy resources and boost in the Malaysian Borneo island state.

“The project is in line with Sarawak’s intiative of promoting green and sustainable energy solutions, leading to further development of industrial base in the state,” PMD chairman Majed Al-Ahmadi said in the statement.

The company’s Kuala-Lumpur based affliate, Cosmos Petroleum & Mining Sdn Bhd, will own and operate the plant when it starts production in 2016. Polysilicon is used to manufacture solar power panels.

The company has engaged the Malaysian unit of National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, to raise funds for the project. The project is expected to attract investors from the Middle East and Southeast Asia, the bank said.

“This is our largest mandate for project finance to-date. The $1.6 billion will be a mixture of debt and equity,” chief executive of National Bank of Abi Dhabi Malaysia Leong See Meng told Reuters.

The bank, which opened its Malaysian subsidiary last October, aims to help businesses from the Gulf Cooperation Council penetrate the rapidly growing Southeast Asian market. (Reporting By Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah; Editing by Niluksi Koswanage)

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