Sarawak acquires 15 per cent stake in MLNG Tiga

State Financial Secretary Dato Sri Ahmad Tarmizi (left) and Shell Malaysia chairman Datuk Iain Lo exchange the signed agreement documents as Abang Johari (centre) watches.

KUCHING, April 13: With the acquisition of 15 per cent of Malaysia LNG Tiga Sdn Bhd (MLNG Tiga) from Shell Gas Holdings (Malaysia) Limited (Shell Malaysia), the Sarawak government is one step closer to realising its agenda to ensure the state has greater control over its oil and gas resources.

After witnessing the agreement signing between Shell Malaysia and the state government at a hotel here this afternoon, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this was one of the ways he walked the talk, apart from setting up Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros).

“Today marks another milestone in our efforts to participate actively in the oil and gas industry. As you know we previously only had 10 per cent of equity in MLNG Tiga. Now we have a total of 25 per cent, making us the second biggest after Petronas with 60 per cent,” he told reporters during a press conference.

Abang Johari said this was part of the state government’s strategic investment in the oil and gas industry through the confines of the law and the constitution.

Abang Johari (back row, second left) together with (back row, from left) Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi, Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani witness the agreement signing between the State Financial Secretary Dato Sri Ahmad Tarmizi (seated left) and Shell Malaysia Chairman Datuk Iain Lo (seated right).

He believed that with this approach, the state in the short-term would be able to explore new areas of participation in the industry’s downstream and upstream activities.

“Of course there will be other investments involved but I believe that when we have a very thorough feasibility study as well as viability study we will invest for the long-term. The long-term interest of Sarawak must be there and we will work together with oil companies including Petronas,” said Abang Johari.

He stressed that the state will continue to exercise its constitutional rights as well as enforce its Oil Mining Ordinance to ensure that Sarawak will benefit the most from its own natural resources.

He also reminded reporters that by July the state government would update and strengthen the Ordinance which would further empower the state in its quest to have major control over its oil and gas resources.

Abang Johari also revealed that as of today the state earned a revenue of about RM20 billion from its oil and gas resources including related investments.

“Now that we have acquired an extra 15 per cent of equity from MLNG Tiga, we will have more later,” he added.

Abang Johari (centre) speaks to reporters, flanked by Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi (right) and Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh (left).

Earlier in his speech during the ceremony, Abang Johari said the extra revenue would enable the state to boost its infrastructure development as well as hasten its agenda to achieve a digital economy status and high income state by 2030.

“We have to thank Shell Malaysia for this. Our efforts to expand our revenue base will continue within the power given to us by the constitution and law. I will announce in October another initiative for Sarawak to generate revenue for its development.

“Sarawak needs substantial funds to finance its infrastructure development projects which includes enhancing physical and cyber connectivity, to create an ecosystem that is conducive to the digitalization of Sarawak’s economy in the next decade.

“We have to find ways and means to increase revenue as we can’t depend on the federal government entirely,” he said. — DayakDaily