IPOH: The RM9.8bil aluminium smelting plant project in the Manjung district which was set to start in September may not materialise.
Describing this as a setback for the state, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Tajol Rosli Ghazali said Johor had approached investors and offered a disused port for the construction of the plant.
He said the investors, which were initially supposed to build the plant on a 144ha site near the Lumut Maritime Terminal, wanted an alternative site nearer to the Janamanjung power plant.
He said the state needed to reclaim between 240ha to 320ha of land at the new identified area to locate the plant.
For such reclamation projects, we have to get an environment impact assessment done and an approval by the Department of Environment which may take time.
Even the affected fishermen in the area will have to be compensated, he told reporters after chairing the exco meeting here yesterday.
Tajol Rosli added that the investors would prefer to set up the plant in Johor also because it was located near Kalimantan, which would be supplying the coal to run the factory.
Tajol Rosli said the State Development Corporation had been asked to offer better incentives to the investors.
The plant, with the capacity to smelt 820,000 tonnes of aluminium per annum, could have created more than 8,000 jobs.
The main investor for the plant is US-based Charus Development USA which is leading a consortium of other investing countries like Hong Kong and China. The latter is providing the technology.
On another subject, Tajol Rosli said the state government had decided to waive the RM123,000 fine on Proton City in Tanjung Malim for not paying quit rent since 2001 for the land measuring over five million square metres.
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