GEORGE TOWN: The Penang South Islands (PSI) project has obtained its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approval from the Environment Department (DOE) under the Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Ministry.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the approval was obtained through a letter to the state secretary dated April 11, based on 71 conditions stipulated including to continue with the implementation of Social Impact Management Plan (SIMP) for the project.
"Following the EIA approval, the state, through the project's development partner, is applying for Environmental Management Plan (EMP) approval from Penang DOE.
"Reclamation works will only start after the EMP approval is obtained, expected to be during the third quarter of this year," he said during a press conference in Komtar Wednesday (April 26).
The Penang government submitted a fresh EIA report on April 29 last year after an earlier one was rejected by the DOE appeal board due to a technical issue.
SRS Consortium is the state’s project delivery partner in the Penang Transport Master Plan, a multibillion-ringgit project encompassing extensive public transport infrastructure and road systems.
PSI is designed to fund the master plan, which includes the Pan Island Link and Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit.
The mega project off the southern coast of Penang island involves the reclamation and development of three islands covering 1,820ha comprising Island A (930ha), Island B (566ha) and Island C (324ha).
In the past, several politicians on both sides of the divide had objected to the project, arguing that it could affect the livelihood of fishermen in the area.
The magnitude of the reclamation also worries NGOs and environmental activists, who decry the project’s possible impact on the marine environment and fishermen, despite explanations and assurances by the state government.