KUCHING: A proposed integrated oil and gas complex in Lawas will help boost development in Sarawak's northern region, says Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
The Chief Minister said the US$5bil (RM20.8bil) project by China's Beijing Beca Sci-Tech Co Ltd and Sinopec Engineering Incorporation would create jobs and spread development to the area.
"This will be a game changer for northern Sarawak, particularly Lawas and Limbang.
"About 1,000 jobs will be created in the first phase, while the peak construction period will create about 20,000 jobs," he said.
Abang Johari said this after Beca Sci-Tech and Sinopec Engineering signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the state government here on Monday (June 10).
The proposed project will produce petrochemical products for industrial customers in China and South-East Asia. Production is targeted to begin in 2022.
Abang Johari said the Chinese investors chose Lawas because of its strategic location, availability of land and environmental stability.
He said the state government would assist them by providing supporting facilities, including the development of a port at the project site in Pulau Sari.
Abang Johari said the MOU signing was a positive step towards expanding Sarawak's capacity in the oil and gas sector. He said this was in tandem with the state's oil and gas policy aimed at empowering Sarawak to take an active part in developing its oil and gas resources.
"We want to participate in the exploration and extraction of oil and gas in Sarawak and engage in upstream and downstream activities, primarily to enable Sarawak to have a new revenue stream.
"We welcome the active participation of the private sector in the development of the state's oil and gas sector," he said.