Chemical engineers crucial to propel petrochemical industry

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KUCHING: Sarawak needs more chemical engineers in order to propel the state’s petrochemical industry.

Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said there is a need for more chemical engineers in view of two proposed petrochemical investments in the state.

“Petrochemical investments are coming into Sarawak. There are two proposed investments, each valued at USD6 billion. And this investment is on separation of gas, sour gas plant in Bintulu.

“Therefore, with this investment, excluding our methanol plant, we need a lot of chemical engineers.

“With that, I would like to urge Institute of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) to lure and attract youth to take up chemical engineering,” he said.

He said this during the Institute of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) Sarawak Branch annual dinner at Imperial Hotel last night.

Abang Johari also said that Sarawak has a good reserve of gas, of which 60 percent of Malaysia’s gas reserves are in the state.

“And we must add value to our gas, and no longer just export liquefied natural gas (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, Sarawak will be producers of petrochemical products in Malaysia,” he said.

In order to attain this objective, he said the engineering fraternity must be expanded not only from civil, electrical, mechanical, but also to chemical engineers.

He noted that IEM Sarawak has been growing steadily with the current robust economic development, especially with the implementation of the Sarawak Digital Economy Strategy 2018 – 2022.

“I understand IEM Sarawak has over 2,000 local registered engineers and is still the largest professional body in Sarawak with 10,432 professional engineers with practising certificates and another 9,465 professional engineers are on their way to obtaining their professional practising certificates.

“These are the unsung heroes pivotal to the development of the state to reach greater heights,” he said.

Abang Johari said the numbers speak volumes about the importance of the engineering institution to the engineering fraternity.

“The engineers have a strong culture of independence that has successfully shaped the society’s ethical conduct and activities of development in the state.

“It is undeniable that engineers are crucial to the future of Sarawak,” he said.

Abang Johari (fifth left) and wife Datuk Amar Puan Sri Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang posing for a photograph with Janang (fourth left), Vincent Tang (seventh left), Dr Sim (eighth left) and other IEM Sarawak Branch committee members. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

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