Firm: Holding Redlich (Shanghai Zhongfu Group)
Deal: Successful bid for the Ord River East Kimberley Expansion Project
Value: The project is valued at up to $700 million.
Key players: Senior Holding Redlich partners David Walker and Amanda Davidson have been advising Shanghai Zhongfu on the WA Government tender process for more than 15 months. Other Holding Redlich team members involved in the project included Tony Britt, Brian Healey, Anne Davis, Richard Abbott and Yuhao Gu
Deal significance: Shanghai Zhongfu Group has been appointed as the preferred proponent to deliver the long-awaited Stage 2 of the Ord-East Kimberley Expansion Project. Shanghai Zhongfu, through its Australian subsidiary Kimberley Agricultural Investment Pty Ltd (KAI), intends to develop the Goomig Farm Area and the Knox Plain within the Ord River Stage 2 area for large-scale sugar production. This will include planting large areas under sugar cane, as well as the development of a sugar mill. Around four million tons of sugar cane and 500,000 tons of sugar crystal are reportedly expected to be produced for export each year.
“The project is anticipated to be one of the largest agricultural green-field projects ever to be undertaken in Australia,” said Walker.
“It is of particular significance due to its location in the Ord River region, which is famous for the pastoral leases once owned by the Packer family, which were most recently used as the homestead location for the film Australia.”
Davidson said: “The project involves complex structuring, construction, infrastructure, farming, environmental, planning and indigenous issues in a region of Australia that has defeated many would-be developers and farmers.”
President of Shanghai Zhongfu Group, Pui Ngai Wu, said the company’s bid could not have succeeded without the “trusted and invaluable advice” of the Holding Redlich team over many months. Shanghai Zhongfu Group is a private Chinese conglomerate that has nearly 30 years’ experience in large-scale, complex, project development internationally.