S’wak is top five investment destinations in Malaysia

Abdul Hamed Sepawi, Stephen Rundi, Abang Johari and Ibrahim Baki (from left to right) at Wisma Bapa Malaysia. Photo credit: Jabatan Penerangan Sarawak (JAPEN)

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, March 4: Sarawak continues to be among the top five investment destinations in the country, recording an approved investment worth RM19.6 billion in 2020.

Despite being hit by Covid-19 since March 2020, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari was happy to have announced this after a Power Purchase Term Sheet signing ceremony between Syarikat Sesco Berhad (Sesco) and Malaysia LNG Sdn Bhd (MLNG).

The agreement has secured a constant supply of 90MW power by Sarawak Energy Berhad (Sarawak Energy) to the MLNG complex under Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) for a term of 20 years.

In the ceremony held at Wisma Bapa Malaysia today, he said the consensus reached yet again between Sarawak and Petronas has guaranteed Sarawak’s achievement to be one of the most preferable states for sustainability-driven investment.

“The Term Sheet reaffirms Sarawak’s position as an ideal sustainability-driven investment destination.

“As a result of farsighted and long-term strategic planning, Sarawak has clear competitive differentiators and value propositions that we offer to prospective investors by providing competitively-priced renewable and reliable power, connectivity infrastructure, investment infrastructure, friendly business policies and competent and trainable workforce,” he added.

Moving on, Abang Johari said, the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government is committed to ensuring all development takes place responsibly and sustainably towards the goal of a high-income state by 2030.

Aiming to strike a practical balance between socio-economic development and environmental well-being, he said the Sarawak government has since an early stage decided to focus on renewable hydropower through the 2009 Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy as one of the enablers to the 2030 vision.

Over the years, the state government has also retained thermal gas and coal-fired power plants to provide security of supply and embarked on many projects with core principles revolving around digital economy and environmental sustainability.

One of the latest examples would be the ‘Post Covid-19 Exit Economic Strategy’ announced by the Chief Minister himself in May 2020 where the Sarawak Economic Action Council introduced then was also a part of the bigger renewable energy development strategy.

“In anticipation of the future growth in organic, industrial and export demand for electricity from Sarawak, we will continue with our renewable energy endeavours.

“Sarawak Energy is constructing the 1,285MW Baleh Hydropower Project which is expected to come onstream in 2026.

“The federal government’s recent recognition of our large hydro energy potentials is another sign of hydropower’s importance in the creation of a prosperous and green economy towards 2030 and beyond.

“Future frontiers will include green hydrogen production as well as floating solar in our hydro dams,” he listed during his address to the Term Sheet signing ceremony broadcasted live by Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) today.

Abang Johari was the witness to the signing of the agreement between Sesco represented by Sarawak Energy Group CEO Datu Sharbini Suhaili and MLNG represented by Petronas director and chief executive officer (CEO) Mohamed Syazwan.

Those who were also present at the ceremony were Minister of Utilities Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Sarawak Energy chairman Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed Sepawi and Petronas non-executive director Dato Haji Ibrahim Baki. —DayakDaily