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By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, July 23: As largest natural gas producer in Malaysia, Sarawak government set to make the state a major downstream producer of oil and gas.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said Sarawak has the largest natural gas reserves in the country, accounting for 54 per cent of the country’s reserves.
“I am very confident that the future of Sarawak’s hydrocarbon industry depends on our state’s ability to empower the downstream gas industry to produce petrochemical products.
“Therefore, the Sarawak Government has set a policy that at least 45 per cent of gas production in Sarawak be maintained in Sarawak for the purpose of feedstock to the petrochemical industry, especially in Tanjung Kidurong, Bintulu,” said Abang Johari during Sarawak Day Celebration held in Miri today.
He further revealed that a 1,000-acre site in Tanjung Kidurong is being developed for the petrochemical industry to make Bintulu the hub of Sarawak’s petrochemical industry.
“Work to build Sarawak’s first petrochemical plant at a cost of RM3.74 billion in Bintulu to produce methanol has already begun.
“This is proof of the determination of the GPS-led (Gabungan Parti Sarawak-led) State Government to strengthen the petrochemical industry and make Sarawak a major downstream producer of oil and gas,” said Abang Johari.
Meanwhile, he also disclosed that several international multinational companies have expressed their commitment to invest in the petrochemical industry in Bintulu
“A company has submitted a plan to the government to invest RM24 billion in Tanjung Kidurong. The Sarawak government will ensure that these investors’ plans come true in the next five to 10 years.”
The chief minister said the Bintulu petrochemical hub is expected to inject RM16 billion to RM20 billion to Sarawak’s annual GDP and create 74,000 jobs.
“The Sarawak oil and gas company or PETROS (Petroleum Sarawak Berhad) that we have established will play a big role in developing the downstream industry of the gas sector in the state.”
In addition to the petrochemical industry, the Samajaya Industrial Zone will also receive an investment of RM20 billion in the electronics industry while the Samalaju Industrial Park will receive an investment of RM17 billion in the steel industry, he added.
Also present at the function were Yang di-pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife Too Puan Ragad Kurdi Taib as well as Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin.— DayakDaily