KUCHING: Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) is welcome to set up a branch campus in Sarawak, says Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He said the state had land available should PETRONAS decide to do so.
"It's up to the management, but if PETRONAS wants to have a branch campus in Sarawak, we welcome it. If they decide to have it in Bintulu, why not," he told reporters after launching the Mara Junior Science College (MRSM) campus in Bintulu on Wednesday (Nov 1).
Abang Johari said UTP students would be able to do their practical training in Bintulu, which is a growing industrial hub in the state.
He said PETRONAS could also work with the state government on a training centre for MRSM leavers and university graduates.
"Fresh graduates are not necessarily experts, they need training in specialised skills such as carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) or transporting hydrogen," he said.
PETRONAS chairman Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh, who was also present, said the national oil company would consider the proposal to set up a branch campus in Sarawak.
"It's a good proposal but there are implications that we need to take into account," he said.
In his speech earlier, Abang Johari said there was still land available if PETRONAS was interested in expanding UTP to Sarawak.
"If Tan Sri wants to open a branch of UTP here, anytime," he said, adding that Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) already has a branch campus in Bintulu.
The RM122mil Bintulu MRSM campus was developed by PETRONAS and is expected to start operations next March.
During the launch ceremony, the campus was handed over to Yayasan Sarawak which then handed it over to Mara.