Friday, July 5, 2013

Malaysian Battersea Power Station project launched

CORNERSTONE INVESTOR: Najib says RM39b redevelopment by 3 Malaysian firms signals strong relations with the UK

LONDON: THE £8 billion (RM39 billion) Battersea Power Station redevelopment officially began yesterday, marking the involvement of Malaysian companies in the single largest property project by value in Europe. Sime Darby Bhd, SP Setia Bhd and Employees Provident Fund set up a consortium, called Battersea Power Station Holding Co, to undertake the project, which will change the area’s landscape. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his British counterpart, David Cameron, jointly unveiled a plaque to signify the occasion, which also signalled the strong relationship between Malaysia and the United Kingdom.

“Sixty years ago, few would have predicted that Malaysian money would bring Battersea to life.

“Within a single generation, we have gone from a colony to a cornerstone investor,” Najib said at the site of the disused power station, which, at its peak, supplied 20 per cent of London’s electricity. “The redevelopment of Battersea Power Station is the latest of London’s many costume changes, a tribute not just to the enduring strength of its architecture, but also to this city’s magnetism.

“For me, it also signals how the relationship between our nations is changing. “When I was born, my country was part of Britain’s empire.

“By the time I was 4, we had won our independence, not over the barrel of a gun, but at a negotiating table.

“Together with thousands of my compatriots, I watched as the Union Jack flag was lowered, and a new nation arose.

“Today, Malaysia is one of the bright lights in the global economy,” he said, adding that Malaysia was a place of endless possibilities.

 He said as one of London's innumerable foreign admirers, it gave him great pleasure to think that Malaysia was helping to preserve one of the UK's most distinctive buildings.

  "It also gives me great hope for the future, not just for Malaysia, but for our relationship with the UK and the world."

  Mayor Boris Johnson, who spoke before the launch, said after many failed attempts, Battersea's redevelopment would now get off the ground.

  "Many had their doubts but now they believe it is going to happen."

  Present at the launch were Najib's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, new Sime Darby chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, Malaysian High Commissioner to the UK Datuk Seri Zakaria Sulong, EPF chairman Tan Sri Samsudin Osman and SP Setia Bhd president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, who is also chairman of the consortium.  About 300 Malaysian and British guests attended the ceremony.

   Najib hoped the project would spur more Malaysian investments overseas.

  "I want to congratulate all those in the Malaysian consortium for their part in Battersea's revival. I trust your template for success will be repeated not just here in London, but also around the world."

  The power station, built in 1933, was decommissioned 30 years ago.

  The coal-fired power station, with its distinctive four chimneys, is located on the south bank of the River Thames, in an inner-city district of southwest London.

  Over the past 50 years, the power station has become one of the best-known landmarks here. Its celebrity status owes much to numerous cultural appearances, which include a shot in The Beatles' 1965 movie Help! and being used in the cover art of Pink Floyd's 1977 album Animals.

*Taken from NST Online
*Picture taken from BBC News

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