SIME DARBY Property (Utara) Sdn Bhd and Penang Development Corporation (PDC) are set to develop a high-tech industrial park in south Seberang Prai for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME).
The project is expected to make south Seberang Prai an economic growth centre in Penang, in line with the state government’s plans.
Sime Darby Property signed a memorandum of understanding on the project with PDC at the end of last month.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the signing marks an important milestone as it symbolises the cooperation and synergy between the Sime Darby and the state’s development agency, for the development of the agricultural area in Byram and Changkat in south Seberang Prai as an industrial park.
He said the collaboration was in line with the state’s emphasis on promoting industrial development and small and medium-sized industries.
“Sime Darby’s plans for developing the land is very much in line with the state government’s aspirations to enhance SMEs,” he said, adding that the Sime Darby SME High-Tech Park will have an estimated gross development value of RM1.8bil.
He noted that under the agreement, both parties would formulate a master plan that was mutually agreed upon.
Under the Byram/Changkat Master Plan, Sime Darby will develop 376.3ha (929.8 acres) of land for SMEs, while PDC will develop 1,625.8ha for heavy industries, SMEs and mixed development.
“Each party is responsible for the environmental impact assessment for their portion of the project,” he told a press conference in Komtar.
Lim added that InvestPenang, the state’s investment promotion agency, would promote Sime Darby and PDC’s portions of the project, including screening companies interested in being located in the park.
Sime Darby Bhd president and group chief executive Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh said the company had long realised south Seberang Prai’s potential as a major industrial area.
“We are confident we will witness the growth of this area in the next eight years. That is why we applied last year to rezone three plots of land in Byram Estate, measuring 376.3ha in total, into industrial land from agricultural land.
“This development will definitely have a positive effect for the area and other sectors of the economy, including housing and hospitality, which will benefit Penang as a whole.
“But most importantly, it will provide more jobs in which new skill sets will be developed,” he added.
Sime Darby Property acting managing director Datuk Jauhari Hamidi, Sime Darby Property senior vice-president Mohd Salem Kailany, PDC general manager Datuk Rosli Jaafar and PDC deputy general manager Chang Wing Mow signed the MoU, witnessed by Mohd Bakke and Lim.