Powering SMEs in Pengerang


Aria Putera (seated left) and Izhar Hifnei signing the MOU between SME Bank and JPDC to help companies expand their business in the downstream oil and gas industries.

SMALL and medium enterprises (SME) looking to expand their business in the downstream oil and gas industries are set to benefit from a collaboration between a bank and a federal agency.

SME Bank group president and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Aria Putera Ismail said it was prepared to leverage its expertise by working with Johor Petroleum Corporation Bhd (JPDC), which oversees the planning and coordination of the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC).

“Together, we aim to facilitate investments and enhance local participation in workforce and business resource readiness for the downstream oil and gas, petrochemical and chemical industries within PIPC,” he said after the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing.

“Our goal is to foster the expansion of local businesses and entrepreneurship, benefitting not only Pengerang but also the broader region of Johor and beyond,” he added.

He said that under the MOU, both parties would collaborate on identifying and nurturing prospective vendors from Pengerang in Johor as well as the rest of Malaysia, offering them guidance in business and financial management, access to funding, and other essential support services.

The programme aims to equip local contractors with skills and capabilities needed to thrive in the downstream industries.

“The bank anticipates providing more than RM35mil in financing to support 30 customers,” said Aria Putera.

Meanwhile, JPDC acting chief executive Izhar Hifnei Ismail said the company had been implementing skill development programmes in PIPC since 2013, such as the Contractor Development Programme (CDP).

“CDP is a progression from the Skills in Oil and Gas Programme that we had previously implemented to provide job competency training, including reskilling and upskilling training for almost 7,000 Malaysians,” he said.

“From the total, some 95% of them successfully gained employment in the gas, petrochemical, chemical and energy-related sectors in PIPC and other places in Malaysia,” he said.

Izhar said that under CDP, JPDC aims to equip small and medium-sized Malaysian contractor companies and enterprises with business management skills to enable them to continually upgrade their capabilities and capacities.

“The 30 participants who meet the CDP criteria will be undergoing training in two batches, with the first batch of 15 to be trained in 2024, and the second batch of 15 to be trained in 2025,” he said.

Under the MOU, JPDC will nominate prospective candidates to the bank for evaluation and inclusion in training and coaching programmes, facilitated in partnership with the Centre for Entrepreneur Development Research Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of the bank.

JPDC will also provide regular updates on industry developments to the bank, facilitating informed decision-making and strategic planning.

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JPDC , SME Bank , Oil and Gas , Pengerang , PIPC , SME , Entrepreneurs , Jobs

   

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