KUCHING, Dec 17: Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development (Mintred) have heard an update on the progress of the feasibility study for the proposed integrated oil and gas project in Lawas with a staggering RM20.8 billion investment from China today.
In the virtual meeting today, Mintred Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan was briefed by Beijing BECA Sci-Tech Co. Ltd. chairman Dong Chao and Sinopec Engineering Incorporated chief engineer Huo Hongwei.
The study was undertaken following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) inked between the Sarawak government and the Chinese firms for an investment worth RM20.8 billion on June 10 last year.
In the meeting, Awang Tengah also gave the assurance that the Sarawak government will continue to facilitate investors wishing to invest in the State.
The feasibility study, according to Awang Tengah in a news report on July 13 this year, had already started and should have been completed but it was unfortunately delayed due to travel restrictions in China and Malaysia to contain the spread of Covid-19.
The state government and investor officials have and will continue to meet online to iron out any issues after the feasibility study on the ground was derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, the proposed integrated oil and gas complex to be built on a 400ha site at Pulau Sari in Lawas would be able to provide direct employment of 1,000 in its first phase and about 20,000 during its three-year construction period with the commencement of production expected in 2022.
Pulau Sari was picked as it boasts natural deep water, making it ideal for a port with a depth of between 15 and 25 metres.
The products to be produced would be polyethylene and polypropylene, which are crucial for the plastic industry, and the raw materials would be imported from the Middle East.
The products will be marketed to China and the off-takers in this region.
Sinopec Engineering, which is one of the biggest petrochemical players in China and has a vast network in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and private sector firm Beijing BECA, chose Lawas as it is strategically located within the BIMP-EAGA region and the consumer market.
Assistant Minister of Industrial Development Datuk Dr Malcolm Mussen Lamoh, Mintred permanent secretary Datu Liaw Soon Eng, Sarawak Energy Group chief executive officer (CEO) Datu Sharbini Suhaili, Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda) CEO Datu Ismawi Ismuni, as well as senior officials from relevant departments and agencies were present. -DayakDaily