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DIGILAND International, the ailing IT company which a year ago announced plans to transform itself into an oil and gas player, on Monday said that its wholly owned subsidiary, International Energy Group (IEG), through its newly formed European subsidiary, New Silkroutes Group, has incorporated a joint venture company with the Malta Enterprise Corporation.
The aim of the joint venture company, IEG Malta, is to develop Malta, a small European country that sits strategically along main Mediterranean trading routes, into a Europe-Asia energy trading hub.
In this regard, IEG Malta will mainly partake in the wholesale and retail trading of crude oil, intermediate fuel oil and other distillates. In addition, it will build storage facilities, blend products for subsequent re-export, as well as collaborate on projects to reduce energy costs for electricity generation in Malta.
The Maltese operation is expected to carry out its first transactions shortly, with a focus on oil trading, Digiland said. The goal is to eventually increase its activities into oil blending and bunkering, it added.
Malta Enterprise Corporation is the national development agency for international investment in the Maltese Islands.
Meanwhile, the relatively unknown IEG, which was recently acquired by Digiland, is fronted by Goh Jin Hian, the son of ESM Goh Chok Tong and a medical doctor by training. IEG is a new entrant in the Singapore energy industry and is involved in the wholesale and retail trading of petrochemical products. The company plans to grow and expand into other synergistic energy-related ventures such as power generation and renewable energy in the near future, said Digiland.
Dr Goh, IEG's chairman and executive director, said: "Pending the approval of the Singapore-EU Free Trade Agreement and the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, we have gone ahead to establish a presence in the EU via Malta as the preferred oil hub in the Mediterranean owing to its geo-political location and proximity to mainland Europe.
"Malta has an island-economy much like Singapore and Hong Kong, with little natural resources and a dependency on intellect and investment capital. I think Malta has the potential to punch well above its weight class."