SUNTEC International on Tuesday inked the deal to design, market and operate the Penang Waterfront Convention Centre (PWCC), about the same time AEG Ogden went over the moon for winning the bid to operate the new International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney at Darling Harbour.
Suntec was in the running for ICC Sydney but pulled out to focus on the US$147 million modernisation plan of its own centre in Singapore, which would re-open on May 1. Arun Madhok, CEO, Suntec Singapore and Suntec International, said: “We did not submit the bid, although we remained closed to the consortium in giving them advice and views. I was of the opinion it was best to focus the time and effort on ours.”
Suntec was part of Australia’s Plenary Group/Brookfield Multiplex consortium while AEG Ogden is in the Destination Sydney consortium which will now develop the new integrated convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct at Darling Harbour.
Madhok said Suntec International was not taking a back seat. “It was just (the timing of) this particular project. We intend to grow the Suntec brand.”
For its latest deal, a subsidiary, Suntec Penang, has been set up. PWCC, developed by IJM Land, is part of The Light’s commercial precinct, “an integrated, world-standard infrastructure” waterfront project that aims to redefine Penang, said IJM Corp’s group CEO and managing director, The Kean Ming.
Conceptualised by Larry Oltmanns, its centrepiece is a 10,000m2 column-free multipurpose hall that can be subdivide or used as a single space for exhibitions, conventions, corporate events and private functions. It can be converted into a 9,000-seat arena for world-class concerts that can be held in Penang for the first time.
PWCC is expected to open in early 2017. “There are 14 top known convention centres in Malaysia but none of them are located in Penang,” said Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng during the signing ceremony last Tuesday.
– Read more in Penang’s new light, TTGmice, February/March 2013