POWER, water and bridges are among the major mainland infrastructure projects for which Cathay International will pay millions to take controlling interests, according to a company official. Collectively its subsidiaries have committed more than US$270 million to buy into existing projects to upgrade water and power plants, as well as toll bridges and tunnels in Shandong and Guangzhou. A preliminary joint-venture agreement last year with Shengli Petroleum, worth $500 million, will be followed by a joint venture to upgrade power systems in Shandong. To date, the group has injected several million dollars to build up two existing 200 megawatt (mW) coal fired plants. It also plans to build another two 300 mW plants for a total investment of US$62.5 million. Total output of 1,000 mW will be consumed by the Shengli oilfield, the second largest in China. As well, it has committed $136 million for a 60 per cent stake in a planned joint venture with the Guangzhou Water Co. The private company, Cathay International Investment, will upgrade four operating water treatment plants, which supply 73 per cent of the city's water, or 2.2 million cubic metres a day. Minimum net return after tax is set at 15 per cent on consideration of the investment sum in US dollars. The group has the option to build and operate an additional plant. In a similar deal, Cathay also will retain a 60 per cent interest in operations of four toll booths and bridges in an exclusive 20-year franchise in Guangzhou. The four tolls represent a majority of existing Pearl River crossings. The planned joint venture with the Guangzhou tunnels development company gives the option without obligation to build and operate three new bridges. Documents were signed on June 8 in New York, with Cathay International Holdings expecting funding approval within the next six months and seeking investors. It will get a minimum net return of 15 per cent after taxes based on US dollar rates of Cathay's US$143.5 million invested.