things seem to be moving a bit in Perak
RM21.6b petroleum refinery coming up near Lumut
24 May 2006
Mimi Syed Yusof
IPOH: The sleepy hollow of Manjung is gearing up for a major transformation.
An investment of US$6 billion (RM21.6 billion) may be coming its way.
This follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding between a local company and a China-based consortium to establish a petroleum refinery there.
A feasibility study on the project in Manjung has been commissioned.
The joint venture will involve the construction of storage facilities for liquefied petroleum gas, a petrochemical plant, a condensate refinery, crude oil refinery and a jetty.
The project will create more than 5,000 jobs.
The MoU was signed between the Malaysian China Petroleum Corporation Sdn Bhd (MCPC) and a consortium comprising China International New Energy Petroleum Group Co Limited and Empire Global Corporation.
The signing was witnessed by Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali.
The consortium is backed by major petroleum companies operating in and outside China, such as China National Petroleum Corporation and CNPC Shanghai.
MCPC spokesman Abdul Rahman Abdullah said the two-month feasibility study would identify a suitable area of between 600ha and 800ha in Manjung, near Lumut, for the project.
He said Lumut was chosen for its deep sea and long coastline, offering a natural harbour which would allow huge petroleum containers and tanks to dock at the jetty.
The project, he said, would be implemented in three phases over five years, with 20 per cent of its crude oil supplied by Petronas, and the remainder from Indonesia and the Middle East.
He said the end products would be exported to China to feed its soaring demand for energy. China is the world’s second-largest oil consumer after the US and has been a net importer of oil for the last 10 years.
Forbes.com yesterday quoted China’s official Xinhua news agency as saying that China’s annual crude oil output was expected to average 185 to 195 million tonnes over the next five years. Its annual oil consumption is expected to hit between 330 and 350 million tonnes by 2010, with crude oil imports making up for the 145 to 165 million-tonne shortage.
Rahman said the refinery would be handling 10 million tonnes of crude oil and five million tonnes of condensate oil annually.
"All-in-all, it is expected to produce 75 million barrels of petroleum products per year," he said.
Tajol Rosli said the State Government was excited about the project as the spin-offs would be huge.
"Besides benefiting the locals, the project will create domestic ventures into the manufacturing of petroleum and petrochemical products," he said.
Manjung folk give thumbs up to project
LUMUT: The people of Manjung are lucky and grateful.
This is how Pangkor State Assemblyman Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir described the decision to site a multi-billion ringgit petroleum refinery there.
He said the economic benefits from the project would be immense for the district especially in spin-off industries.
He said the project would be a boost for the area and people and the mega project would turn the area into an industrial city.
"It would also benefit the state and spur its economy further," said the State Education, Human Resource and Multimedia committee chairman.
"However, a thorough study must be done including its impact on the environment and its suitability," he said.
Zambry said the development of the Lumut Port into a world-class infrastructure via the project’s implementation would draw new investors and capital to the State.
Businessman from Seri Manjung, S.K. Ling, 54, said the project would be a catalyst to spur the development of infrastructure in the area.
"This is one of the many aspects which the State Government should look into as the present infrastructure would be grossly inadequate to handle the massive development expected," he said.
Ling, however, stressed that safeguards should be in place especially on the long-term implication on the environment.
"One of the main attractions of the district is its beautiful surroundings and its value as a tourist spot. This should be safeguarded when the project takes off," he said.
Trader James Looi, 31, hoped the jobs created would be for professionals as this would attract those who had left the area to return.
Sitiawan State Assemblyman Ngeh Koo Ham said that the jobs created from the project should be those which were knowledge-based.
He also urged the State Government to improve its delivery systems to ensure investors were not hampered in their applications and implementation of new projects.
"Investors would be put off if they find it difficult to get approvals," he said.
Source: NST Online