Premier: Sarawak must add value to gas reserves, not just export LNG

Abang Johari witnesses the memorandum of understanding (MOU) exchange between IEM Sarawak represented by chairman Dato Janang Bungsu (front row, second right) and Public Works Department (JKR) Sarawak represented by director Richard Tajan, while other dignitaries look on.

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By Karen Bong, Ling Hui and Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Aug 12: Sarawak must look into adding value to its gas reserves instead of just exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG), says Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

Thus, he urged the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) to assist the Sarawak government by luring and attracting youths to undertake chemical engineering.

“I think over 60 per cent of Malaysia’s gas reserves (are) in Sarawak and we must add value to our gas, no longer just focusing on exporting LNG. There are a lot of derivatives that can be processed from our gas.

“For that, we need a lot of chemical engineers that will propel our petrochemical industry. And I have a feeling that by 2030, we (Sarawak) are the producers of petrochemical product in Malaysia,” he said when officiating the IEM Sarawak Branch Annual Dinner 2022 held at Imperial Hotel here earlier tonight (Aug 12).

Abang Johari added that Sarawak is looking at two proposed petrochemical investments, with each valued at USD6 billion.

“This investment is (on) separation of gas, sour gas plant in Bintulu. This is a very complicated process (involving) the separation of gas, retaining sulphur in the other gas and storing carbon back into the earth.

“Therefore, with this investment, excluding the methanol plant, we need a lot of chemical engineers,” he added.

IEM Sarawak has over 2,000 local registered engineers and is still the largest professional body in Sarawak.

Abang Johari also mentioned that there are 10,432 professional engineers with practicing certificates in Sarawak, and another 9,465 professional engineers are on their way to obtaining their professional practicing certificates.

Amongst those present were Abang Johari’s wife Datuk Amar Jumaani Tuanku Bujang, Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, IEM vice president Prof Dr Jeffrey Chiang Choong Luin, IEM Sarawak Branch chairman Dato Janang Bungsu and the IEM Sarawak vice chairman-cum-organising chairlady Stephanie Sim Hui Kheng. — DayakDaily