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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sarawak corridor draws RM500bil

The private investment exceeds state's target

SIBU: The Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score) got off to a great start with some RM500bil worth of private investment committed at its launch in Bintulu yesterday.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the proposed investment was made in 24 memoranda of understanding (MOUs) signed during the launch.

The proposed investment has already exceeded the RM334bil that the Sarawak Government said was required to fully develop the regional economic corridor by 2030.

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said the proposed investment included for the fisheries sector by Australian companies that were not earlier anticipated.

“I am very pleased that on the first day (of the launch of Score), the private sector has already come forward and indicated intention to invest in Sarawak,” Abdullah said after opening the Centennial Hall of SMK St Elizabeth at Jalan Oya here yesterday.

He said the development of oil and gas as well as hydro resources, infrastructure, transport and communications sectors in Sarawak required very big investment, and there were also plans to develop heavy industries.

“The private sector investment is expected to be more than the amount we have indicated in our plans. This augurs well for Sarawak,” he said.

The energy-intensive industries to be set up within the corridor are at least two aluminium smelters.

Sarawak Energy Bhd, Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd (CMS) and Rio Tinto Aluminium Ltd inked a RM5.25bil deal for the supply of 1100MW of energy. Other deals signed included:

·Sarawak Energy and Press Metal Bhd for the supply of 510MW worth RM2.5bil;

·Sarawak Energy and Sime Darby Bhd for 2,400MW from Bakun and undersea transmission line worth RM22.5bil;

·Sarawak Energy and Tenaga Nasional Bhd to analyse energy options, develop coal potentials and infrastructure worth RM50bil;

·Carbon Capital Corp Sdn Bhd and Japan Carbon Mercantile Co Ltd for a biodiesel plant worth RM1bil;

·Konsortium Galdasar Sdn Bhd and Yuh Yow Fisheries Taiwan for a 800ha aquaculture project worth RM100mil;

·Konsortium Galdasar and Shei Chui Oceanic Enterprise Taiwan for shipbuilding worth RM40mil;

·Bintulu Development Authority and Zinc Ox Resources England for zinc electro refinery plant worth US$350mil;

·Sarawak Energy and a consortium of banks for RM3bil to RM20bil in financial deals;

·CMS and Rio Tinto on training for its aluminium smelter;

·CMS and Rio Tinto and Aluminium Pechinery for the supply of technology to Salco aluminium smelter; and

·CMS, MMC Corp Bhd and Pan Kingdom Investment Co for financial deals worth US$1.5bil.

In terms of area of coverage and monetary investment, the Sarawak regional development corridor has topped the other development corridors in the country. A total area of hinterland measuring 70,000 sq km is expected to be developed, affecting more than 600,000 people.

According to the development blueprint yesterday, the core projects would involve the setting up of power generation plants to churn out at least 20,000MW of electricity.

High priority sectors have also been identified for development – petroleum, aluminium, metal production, glass production, tourism, palm oil plantations, livestock, fishing, timber plantations, aquaculture and marine engineering which includes ship-building and ports construction.

Abdullah yesterday allocated an initial sum of RM5bil in federal funds towards the development corridor in Sarawak.

By The Star (by Jack Wong, Sharon Ling & Stephen Then)

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