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Building business links with SE Asia

A LOCAL company is working to ease homelessness in South-East Asia with an innovative product developed from a steel roofing system.

Perth company Trustek-Conclad has secured a $235 million contract to sell low cost housing in the Philippines.

Established six years ago, Trustek-Conclad has provided the local market with a steel roofing alternative to the traditional jarrah or karri wood beams.

The move into the housing market in South-East Asia began when Trustek-Conclad sold a franchise for the steel roofing system in Malaysia.

Since then the company has developed homes that utilise the Trustek-Conclad building system of pre-fabricated walls clad with pre-cast concrete panels.

Trustek-Conclad managing director Jeff McGlinn said the contract was negotiated following an introductory meeting set up a year ago by one of the Department of Industry and Technology’s overseas trade offices.

The company’s general manager, Andy Hunt, said the secretary for housing in the Philippines initially asked the Federal Government about local companies that specialised in low-cost housing.

“We were asked to submit a proposal for 50,000 houses,” he said.

“It’s a joint venture where we’re supplying the technology, the company systems and we’ll oversee the project. Basically the labour will come from the Philippines.”

Trustek-Conclad is currently negotiating a deal in Thailand and it aims to target other countries in the area, such as Burma and Sri Lanka.

“We can actually manage the production almost like a conveyor belt,” Mr Hunt said.

“The houses range in size from 30 square metres to 60sq m.”

Under the joint venture a factory is now under construction in the Philippines to fabricate the houses’ components.

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