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Monday February 23, 2009

Tanjong Agas mega project to take off soon

THE Malaysian economy will get another shot in the arm with the planned investment of about RM8bil in the oil and gas (O&G) and maritime services sector for a 4,098-acre integrated industrial park in Pekan, Pahang.

The Tanjong Agas Oil and Gas and Maritime Industrial Park will be undertaken by Tanjong Agas Supply Base & Marine Services Sdn Bhd (TASBMS), a company entrusted to ensure the completion of the project in three years.

The Pahang State Development Corp has a 30% stake in TASBMS.

TASBMS managing director Mohd Faidzal Ahmad Mahidin said there was no question the project would be fast-tracked and the economic impact would be felt within the year.

A satelite image showing the location of the proposed Tanjong Agas Oil and Gas and Maritime Industrial Park.

“We are confident this mega project will take off soon,” he told StarBiz in an interview.

Faidzal said the company had been planning to make Pekan an integrated O&G and maritime services hub over the past three years.

He said TASBMS had been collaborating with some major players in the O&G and maritime services sector for several years and had managed to convince them to invest in the project.

“Currently, we have seven players pledging their support via expertise and investments totalling about RM6bil in the various projects in Pekan,” he said.

At a media briefing recently, TASBMS identified the seven as Vantech Dockyard (M) Sdn Bhd, Tec-Steel Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, Usatech Marine (M) Sdn Bhd, Bitari Abadi Sdn Bhd, Core Competence Sdn Bhd, Competent Selection Sdn Bhd and Damini Corp Sdn Bhd.

Faidzal said the seven were only the “tip-of-the-iceberg” as many other companies had expressed interest to participate in various up-coming projects, including property (residential and commercial).

“There are about 10 other companies that we are in talks with at the moment,” he said, adding that all the confirmed projects, which would be simultaneously launched, as well as future projects, would provide massive employment for Pahang residents.

The seven projects alone would create about 30,000 jobs in the next 10 years and the initial phase would require about 5,000 workers, he said, adding that it would help spur the development of local talent in the O&G and maritime services sectors.

Faidzal said the industrial park would have shipyards, fabrication yards as well as supply-base fabrication for repairs and lay-ups.

“There will also be liquefied natural gas and petroleum terminals, dredger yard, liquid bulk terminal and dockyards,” he added.

Faidzal said Pekan was ideal for the industrial park as it faced South China Sea and was in the growth area for upstream and downstream O&G exploration and production activities.

On the balance RM2bil required to kickstart the mega project, Faidzal said the company would borrow from KAF Investment Bank Bhd and hoped the Federal Government would financially support the state’s growth in the sector.

“Much of the RM2bil would be for developing the appropriate infrastructure for the park,” he said.

Faidzal also urged the Government to allow an independent power producer to operate in Pahang, as the park would need sufficient energy to run the different projects when it came onstream.

Meanwhile, Tec-Steel partners Sigrid Nubert and Helmut Paul Kauba said the company planned to invest about RM3bil to set up a steel manufacturing plant in Tanjung Agas.

“The plant will start production in 2012 and create about 600 jobs, mostly for local workers,” Nubert said, adding that the annual production would be about 800 tonnes.

“Most of the steel will be supplied as semi-finished long products to international markets. We will adopt the latest electric arc furnace and casting technology for the plant which will meet European environmental standards,” she noted.

On Tec-Steel investing in Pekan, Nubert said: “We choose Tanjung Agas because of its location near the mining industries. Besides tax incentives, Malaysia is politically stable.”

Vantech Dockyard said in a statement it planned to develop an 800 acres of world-class, state-of-the-art full-scale dockyard facilities in Pekan.

It said the project would be undertaken in three stages: deep-sea offshore O&G fabrication yard, shipbuilding and shiprepair yard, and maritime services.

The company is finalising a collaboration with a leading South Korean shipbuilder.

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