China National Machinery Industry Corporation (Sinomach), the country’s largest industrial machinery company, has signed a framework agreement with the Huizhou municipal government to build a “world-class” industrial estate for modern equipment manufacturing, as part of Beijing’s Greater Bay Area development initiative. The 10-year, three-phase project is expected to cost more than 200 billion yuan (US$28.6 billion), Nanfang Daily , the official Guangdong Communist Party newspaper reported. “Sinomach will speed up completion of the industrial city’s overall development blueprint and construction plan, and form an investment company to execute the project,” Bai Shaotong, the state-owned enterprise’s deputy general manager, said in a statement, without naming any potential tenants or investors. Huizhou draws hi-tech projects as it eyes bigger role in Greater Bay Area Huizhou is among nine mainland Chinese cities that together with Hong Kong and Macau form the Greater Bay Area. Located in the development zone’s easternmost part, it has a population of 4.8 million. Huizhou is 10 times the size of Hong Kong when it comes to area, but its gross domestic product was just about a sixth of Hong Kong’s in 2018 and 2019. The 708 square kilometre site for the project is located in south-eastern Huizhou, close to Shenzhen and the coast. The first phase of the project will involve the construction of Sinomach’s southern China headquarters, certain “national level” laboratories and research facilities, and smart manufacturing operating system projects, besides petrochemical equipment manufacturing facilities. In the second and third phases, modern and smart manufacturing, new energy and advanced materials production projects will be introduced, to elevate the quality of Huizhou’s industrial development, the company said. With 140,000 employees, 27 subsidiaries and 13 listed companies, Sinomach made a profit of 10.2 billion yuan on 300.5 billion yuan in revenue in 2018, according to its website. It leads in factory construction and serves sectors such as machinery, electrical, power and tobacco, and has a dominant market share in new construction projects in China’s automobiles industry. Its customers include the China joint ventures of Ford, General Motors, BMW and Daimler-Chrysler. Huizhou looks to upgrade its industry to tap bay area opportunities Huizhou has witnessed a spate of investments in recent months. US oil giant ExxonMobil in April this year broke ground on a wholly-owned US$10 billion petrochemical complex in Huizhou. This was followed by the agreement signing in May between Royal Dutch Shell and China National Offshore Oil Corporation on a phase-three US$5.6 billion expansion of their petrochemical joint venture. Investment deals worth 15.5 billion yuan on three data centres to be built in Huizhou have been signed since April, including one by China Mobile aiming to serve the Greater Bay Area, according to Nanfang Daily . A manufacturing hub, the city boasts a world-class integrated oil refinery and petrochemical base, one of the largest in China. It is also a major electronics products manufacturing site where TCL, a major television and consumer electronics company, is based. Other key industries include tourism, logistics and agriculture.