KUCHING: Sarawak will appoint its own gas aggregator to ensure gas availability for industries and consumers in the state following amendments to the Gas Distribution Ordinance.
The State Utility and Telecommunication Minister, Datuk Seri Julaihi Narawi, said state-owned Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros) would be appointed as the gas aggregator once the amendments came into force.
He said there was currently an insufficient volume of gas for industrial use in the state, as nearly all the gas produced offshore Sarawak was converted into liquefied natural gas for export by PETRONAS.
"With uncertainty over the availability of gas and its price, it has become very challenging to attract foreign investors, who require gas for their industrial processes, to establish or locate their plants in Sarawak.
"This has hampered our efforts to accelerate industrial growth to enable Sarawak to have a high-income economy by 2030," he said when tabling the Distribution of Gas (Amendment) Bill in the state legislative assembly on Tuesday (Nov 21).
Julaihi said that by appointing a gas aggregator, the distribution of gas in Sarawak can be developed and expanded to ensure an adequate supply to meet the needs of domestic consumers, industries and potential investors.
He added that the appointment of the gas aggregator would not adversely affect existing arrangements entered into by upstream gas producers.
Julaihi also said the state government would work with Petros and PETRONAS to accelerate the exploration and development of new gas fields offshore Sarawak.
He said this aimed to increase natural gas production to sustain industries in the state.
The state legislature passed the Bill after 16 assemblymen debated it.