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Tanjung Manis now a hub for major industries

Tanjung Manis now a hub for major industries

15 Mar 2023

Tanjung Manis in Sarikei has moved on well from being a timber industry hub since the 1980s to a centre for other industries like deep sea fishing industry, shipbuilding and repair industry, palm oil industrial cluster and the halal industry involving activities such as agriculture, aquaculture and livestock.

This is according to Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) in a statement yesterday in conjunction with its 50th anniversary.

In the 1980s, a study conducted by HA Simons (Canada) identified Tanjung Manis as a potential site for timber related industries due to its strategic location in the Central Region of Sarawak.

Subsequently, a recommendation was made by the said consultant for the establishment of a Timber Processing Zone (TMTPZ).

STIDC was then tasked by the state government to pioneer the development of Tanjung Manis since 1990 as a Timber Processing Zone.

“Over the years coupled with abundant land in Tanjung Manis, other industries such as deep sea fishing industry (2004), shipbuilding and repair industry (2007), Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) in 2008 and (the latest) Tanjung Manis Halal Hub in 2009 involving activities such as agriculture, aquaculture and livestock evolves are part of mixed development promoted under Tanjung Manis Economic Growth Area (T-MEGA),” said STIDC in the release.

The re-branding of Tanjung Manis as T-MEGA marks a new milestone in the development of Tanjung Manis, and it resonates with the dynamic demand for mixed development in T-MEGA, said STIDC.

“T-MEGA is one of the growth nodes initiated under Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) where the niche industries identified were shipbuilding industry, wood-based industry, POIC, fishery as well as Halal food production and processing industry.

“Leveraging on Tanjung Manis being HALMAS certified by Halal Development Corporation, the promoted activities in T-MEGA are agriculture, aquaculture, livestock and poultry, plantation of cash crops and food processing including processing of palm oil related products.

“Moreover, STIDC is currently looking into the establishment of Agro-based Excellence Centre in Tanjung Manis via strategic collaboration with potential investors and institutions of higher learning such as UPM in order to support the government agenda in food security,” it said.

Since 1990 the government has invested about RM3.14 billion to put in place the infrastructures and facilities in Tanjung Manis such as port, airport, telecommunication, electricity, water, wharf, housing as well as commercial centre. Presently, a 16-storey administrative centre is nearing completion to serve as a one-stop service centre for both the government and private sector.

To date, the total export value through Tanjung Manis Port from January to September 2022 is about RM1.2 billion. It is expected that the total export value through Tanjung Manis Port is more than RM4 billion in 2023.

Besides, 300 units of houses to cater for the demand for housing in Tanjung Manis and another 200 units of government quarters were constructed and completed in 2019.

These houses are meant to be rented to the agencies working in Tanjung Manis, and investors are also welcomed to rent the facilities.

Due to the demand for shipbuilding industries, an area of 1,000 acres at Paloh has been approved for Shipbuilding and Ship Repair (SBSR) and Marine Works, STIDC pointed out.

This area is selected due to the suitable river draft of about 14 metres.

“This Paloh SBSR will generate economic activities in oil and gas industry, naval shipbuilding, deep sea fishing vessels and other relevant activities such as merchant vessels, ship inspection and MRO activities.”

A study conducted by World Wild Fund for Nature, Malaysia (WWF) at Rajang, Belawai and Paloh delta areas reveal that there is a need for conservation and sustainable development in T-MEGA, STIDC said.

“Conservation plan is needed to systematically integrate the high conservation value areas into the T-MEGA development for the protection of Irrawaddy Dolphin, other wildlife, fisheries and the mangrove habitats that support them.”

An area of 100 acres has been identified in Tanjung Manis for the establishment of Bamboo Plantation and 19.92 acres for Bamboo Seedlings Nursery with production capacity of 450,000 seedlings per annum which will increase progressively.

Also the upgrading of Pusat Latihan Perkayuan PUSAKA Tanjung Manis (PLPPTM) to Tanjung Manis Timber Training Centre (TMTTC) augured well with the aspiration to make TMTTC a certified training provider and recognised by the Department of Skills Development, Malaysia to offer the Malaysia Skills Certificate (Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia).

This is to help the trainees to secure employment as well as to pursue their training, STIDC pointed out.

This initiative is timely in meeting the demand for skilled workforce in consonance with STIDC’s stride to transform and make the local wood-based industry a high-income generator by 2030.

Completion of the coastal road and bridges by the state government in 2024 that connects the major towns, such as Sarikei and Mukah, will boost the economic activities in Tanjung Manis.

“With all the required infrastructure like port, airport, road connectivity, water supply, electrical power supply and fiberised telecommunication network in place; Tanjung Manis is slated to be major hub for agriculture, food production, furniture, shipbuilding and other Industries in the next 50 years,” it said.

Source: The Borneo Post