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Influx of foreign investments in Bintulu

Influx of foreign investments in Bintulu

11 Apr 2022

Tanjung Kidurong in Bintulu is fast becoming an industrial hotspot in Sarawak, with more large investment influx expected from foreign companies in the petrochemical and medical industries.

The investments in petrochemical, medical and related industries have been spurred by the state government-initiated development of the Petrochemical Hub and Sarawak Medical Innovation and Technology Hub (Smith) there.

Smith is a joint project by Sarawak Economic Development Corp (SEDC), Arrow Medsource Group from the United States and several other global partners.

The project is currently under construction following a ground-breaking ceremony last month.

SEDC is also spearheading the development of the petrochemical hub, which covers some 1,067 acres and catering for vast investment opportunities in the downstream petrochemical industries.

The site of the petrochemical is located about 36km from the Samalaju Industrial Park, which is home to energy-intensive industries like aluminium and ferroalloy smelting plants.

A US-based healthcare company will be investing RM1bil to produce medical products in Smith, according to Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the company is now implementing the first phase project estimated to cost RM200mil, to be followed by another RM800mil investment in the second phase.

“Smith will serve as a vital hub not only for the development of medical manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries in the region and throughout Sarawak, but as an important solution to the global medical supply chain issues.

“It aims to build Sarawak’s strength in medical manufacturing from basic medical supplies to high-end surgical products and equipment,” said Johari after touring state-owned Sarawak Petchem Sdn Bhd’s methanol plant project in Tanjung Kidurong.

The methanol plant, which has a production capacity of 1.7 million tonnes per annum, is expected to come on stream next year.

The plant will receive 160 million standard cubic feet per day of natural gas feedstock from Petroliam Nasional Bhd.

Johari said a hydrogen and ammonia plant, the first in Malaysia, will also be built in the petrochemical hub as Sarawak takes the lead in the green economy in the South-East Asian region.

He said the project’s investors, namely Korea’s Samsung Engineering Co Ltd and Japan’s Sumitomo Corp, will buy the hydrogen to be produced by the plant estimated at 100,000 tonnes a year.

Johari added that the state authorities had also received several other investment proposals in Bintulu, including a second on the petrochemical industry, from new investors.

Johari has said recently that Sarawak offers some US$25bil (RM105.5bil) in investment opportunities in downstream petrochemical industries to the private sector.

He said the development of midstream petrochemical industries, such as methanol, ammonia, hydrogen and polyethylene, would further enhance the state’s existing downstream manufacturing ecosystem and create additional business opportunities.

Johari also announced the construction of an autonomous rail rapid transit (Art) in Bintulu, which is already home to other gigantic projects like the Malaysian Liquified Natural Gas and Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis plant, to ease travel between the town and the industrial hubs of Tanjung Kidurong.

Johari, who is also Bintulu Development Authority’s chairman, said special funds have been set aside to fund the development of the Art project, the second after Kuching (to be implemented) within five years.

Source: The Star

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