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Suntec on knees to marry Darling
Raini Hamdi, reporting from IMEX, Frankfurt, May 23, 2012

SUNTEC Singapore is part of a consortium that is in a two-horse race to design, build and operate the new integrated convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct at Darling Harbour, Sydney.


Led by Australia’s Plenary Group and Brookfield Multiplex, the consortium also includes Life Nation Entertainment and MCI, according to Suntec’s chief commercial officer, Ong Wee Min.


Ong believes “(Suntec's) strong network in Asia, this being the Asian century” gives his consortium the edge over the competing oufit, which is led by AEG Ogden.


“We’re a sales and marketing-driven association, with 40 sales professionals across the world and a strong client network,” he said.


A decision on the winning bid will be announced by the end of the year.


Around A$1 billion (US$975 million) has been set aside to develop the integrated precinct at Darling Harbour, which already features the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre – built in 1988 and expanded in 1999 – but a decrepit venue by today's standards.


New facilities will include the largest exhibition space in Australia at 40,000 m2, the biggest meeting room space in Australia at 6,000 m2, the greatest Australian convention hall capacity – known as plenary space – able to accommodate more than 10,000 pax over four different areas, dedicated banqueting facilities for 2,000 pax, and a red carpet premium entertainment venue with capacity for least 8,000 pax.


The project is scheduled for completion by 2015-2016.


Meanwhile, Ong revealed that Suntec had just signed a deal to design and manage a new conference centre in Penang, The Light, which can accommodate up to 3,000 delegates.

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