Abang Johari (third from right) with others at the methanol plant.

BINTULU: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has assured that growth in the oil and gas industry would contribute significantly towards Sarawak’s development, and its aspiration of becoming a developed state by 2030.

“To maximise the potential of this industry, it is imperative that the state involves in developing high value downstream products, and this requires the development of a petrochemical hub to facilitate the setting up of plants and factories,” he stressed.

He pointed out that in line with the RMK-12 aspiration to become Asia’s most sustainable energy ecosystem, the state government, through Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), would be able to facilitate convergence of industries, infrastructure and talent development, allowing the state to further capitalise on its own petroleum and gas resources.

The Sarawak Petrochemical Hub is expected to create 74,000 new jobs in Bintulu, which could potentially generate an additional RM16bil to RM20bil per annum to Sarawak’s GDP.

He said this after visiting the Tanjong Kidurong methanol plant on Thursday (July 2).

Also present were State Secretary Datu Jaul Samion; Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, the Bintulu MP cum Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China; Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Intergrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talip Zulpilip and Assistant Minister of Infrastructure and Ports Development Datuk Julaihi Narawi.

“This will allow Sarawak to add value its natural resources in line with our aspiration to intensify downstream activities in the oil and gas sector,” he explained.

“We want to develop Sarawak’s petrochemical and encourage value added downstream investments in Sarawak.”

Downstream petrochemical investments in the Sarawak Petrochemical Hub will have a significant socioeconomic impact on Sarawak and its people.

It is a catalyst for the development of forward-linked industries for intermediate and finished goods to increase overall economic output of the state, and generate a broader base of high value, long term job opportunities that will improve income levels of Sarawakians.

It also creates a larger ecosystem for Sarawakians to be involved in business opportunities of providing goods and services to the downstream oil and gas industry.

Furthermore, it will develop the state’s human capital to be globally competitive by accelerating the transfer of knowledge and technological expertise and increase participation of Sarawakians in the development of the state’s gas resources through the increase in domestic value addition activities.

The project will be developed and managed by SEDC.

As landowner, SEDC will establish a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to develop and manage the hub and develop as well as manage centralised utility facilities and other common areas to facilitate the participation of potential investors.

SEDC will undertake sub-division based on the masterplan study prior to leasing or selling the industrial lots to potential investors.