UMW unit keen on M’sia-Thai project


  • Business
  • Wednesday, 12 Feb 2003

BY HONG BOON HOW

UMW Corp Sdn Bhd oil and gas division is studying the feasibility of supplying gas pipelines to the Malaysia-Thailand Joint Development Area (JDA) in the Gulf of Siam. 

UMW Citra Maju Sdn Bhd (UCM) director Zulkifly Zakaria said the company had not submitted a bid yet but was keen to participate in the project. 

UCM, which provides pipe threading services to the petroleum industry, also has joint venture operations in Songkhla and Sattahip, Thailand. 

“There are signs that the JDA project will be getting a go-ahead soon,” Zulkifly told reporters after the signing of a subcontract agreement between UCM and Sumitomo Corp Asian Tubular Supply Pte Ltd (SCATS) in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. 

The construction of the pipeline for the JDA had been put on hold for a few years due to objections from Thai environmental groups and local residents. 

Under the agreement with SCATS, UCM will provide the threading, associated fabrication, inspection, pipe storage, transportation and load-in and load-out works, inventory control and other options to SCATS' for its east Malaysian operations. The agreement is for five years. 

Zulkifly said that about 40% of the company's pre-tax profit came from overseas ventures and that the contribution was expected to reach 50% by year’s end as the company participated in more foreign projects. 

UCM chairman and group managing director/chief executive officer of UMW HOLDINGS BHD Dr Abdul Halim Harun said the projected annual value of the entire Malaysian one-stop shop for oil country tubular goods (OCTG) was US$50mil. 

“The integrated contract will provide for most of the OCTG requirements for all the oil companies operating in Malaysia,” Halim said. 

He also said the construction of UCM's pipe threading and repair facility in the Tianjin free trade zone in China was expected to be completed in May. 

“With the completion of the facility which occupies a 4,000-sq m site, we are expecting to get a new source of revenue from our China operations,” Halim said, indicating that UCM might make further investments in China. 

He said the UMW group, which was heavily-focused on automotive sector, was moving aggressively into the oil and gas sector to reduce the company's dependence on a single sector. 

“We will be moving into more upstream activities in the oil and gas sector and we expect the sector to contribute a significant portion to the UMW group business in future,” he said. 

Besides China and Thailand, UCM has operations in Singapore, Thai- land, Vietnam, Myanmar, Brunei, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. 

SCATS president Takahide Enomoto said the company chose the UMW group as its partner due to the long-standing co-operation between both companies. 

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