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4,500 jobs to be created at new Phoenix Park

Published: 
Thursday, June 21, 2018
Zhang Chuanchang, deputy general manager, BCEG, left, and Steve De Las, president of eTecK sign the MoU.

Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon has given more details of two major projects between Government and Beijing Construction Engineering Group Co. Ltd. (BCEG) which are to be implemented by Lake Asphalt Limited and Evolving Tecknologies and Enterprise Development Company Limited (eTeck). This follows Monday;s signing of a memorandum of understanding by Zhang Chuancheng Deputy General Manager, BCEG and Steve De Las President of eTeck for development of the Phoenix Park Industrial Estate.

“The signing serves to deepen the commercial relations between the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the People’s Republic of China,” the minister said.

“These events are significant for the Ministry of Trade and Industry since they open the way for new commercial and foreign direct investments into Trinidad and Tobago which are fundamentally important to this country’s economic development.”

Gopee-Scoon said the new park will provide space for 60 to 80 factory shells and directly employ more than 4,500 persons, with 1,000 expected to be employed during the construction phase. Development of the new industrial park should be completed within 12 months and a major international investor has already been identified for the site.

The minister added that the park’s establishment promotes Government’s diversification efforts as it targets firms in the areas of high-value and light manufacturing, logistics/warehousing, and emerging industries - electronic technology, information technology, energy-saving ecological building materials and biotechnology.

The project will be financed through a loan agreement with the Export-Import Bank of the People’s Republic of China in the amount of US$104,295,000.

BCEG has guaranteed the operations of at least ten Chinese firms.

To date, there is interest in the areas of manufacturing of glass powder, air conditioners and ceramics, paper converting operations, wood processing, communication equipment, building materials, integrated housing manufacturing and food processing. Further the company has committed to use 60 per cent local labour among the total labour in construction and purchase at least 50 per cent of the building materials in T&T.

Minister of Communications Stuart Young, who spoke at the signing ceremony, said T&T has the first country in the region to sign on to the Belt and Road Initiative being implemented by the Chinese Government.

A distributorship agreement between Lake Asphalt Limited and the BCEG was also signed which Energy Minister Franklin Khan said would increase the marketing of the company’s products substantially in that region and transform Lake Asphalt Limited into a more profitable venture with marketing and packaging arrangements in place.

He said Government’s plans to construct a bitumen powder plant which would convert the world class bitumen produced by Lake Asphalt Limited into an exportable powder form and yield significant profits.

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