Petronas must be committed to giving Sabah the much needed gas
KOTA KINABALU, 14 May 2010: The Federal Government through Petronas ought
to ensure adequate supply of natural gas from the oil and gas terminal at
Kimanis to generate energy, which is crucial to development in Sabah, said
Luyang Assemblywoman Melanie Chie.
She asserted that adequate supply of natural gas is crucial to ensure that
proposed development in the state can take off, not to mention development
of the oil and gas downstream industries which can generate greater
employment opportunities and spur economic development.
Melanie who is also Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Wanita Chief, was
responding to Plantation Industries and Commodity Minister Tan Sri Bernard
Dompok's recent statement to support the State Governmment's move to
develop Kimanis and Sipitang into oil and gas towns.
Dompok said that the Federal Cabinet had instructed Petronas to give
priority to Sabah if the State required the resources.
While noting that there was a guarantee that no gas will be transported to
Sarawak through the Kimanis-Bintulu pipeline if there is a need (for gas)
here, Dompok said therefore the State Government have to look at the
infrastructure for the utilisation of gas.
"Petronas wants to go ahead with it so they must have their reasons. But
when Sabah needs the gas, they must not export. I think that is the
undertaking," he said.
He also revealed that the state government had already received a written
commitment from the national oil company assuring compliance.
Nonetheless, Melanie was doubtful of Petronas's assurance.
"Is Petronas truly committed to giving the natural gas we require for our
develoment? Is the Federal Government commited to its promise to give
priority to Sabah for our oil and natural gas resources requirement?" she
Melanie added that she feared that KKIP Sdn Bhd, a State GLC, would fail
if the Sabah Government in upholding Sabah interest is unable to assist
them to solve problems related to adequate supply of natural gas for
energy intensive industries.
She pointed out that State Minister of Industrial Development Datuk
Raymond Tan Shu Kiah had announced that KKIP Sdn Bhd needed 42 million
cubic feet of natural gas daily and electricity supply of 354 Megawatts
for a proposed solar glass manufacturer.
KKIP Sdn Bhd has proposed to sign commitment to investor, the Sun Bear
Polar Sdn Bhd which wanted to build RM5.3 billion plant to produce solar
glass panels with silica sand from northern Sabah.
"The investment would fail if the State Government is unable to help to
ensure adequate natural gas supply by Petronas. There must be a firm
commitment by Petronas. If the State Government is not able to secure this
supply commitment from Petronas , other potential invertors either local
or foreign would also not come to Sabah," she said.
She continued that if the proposed signing with Sun Bear Polar Sdn Bhd
fail, Sabah stands to lose the RM5.3 billion investment which promised to
create 1,082 employment opportunity; development of supporting industries
and the development of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), income
from land revenue, amongst others.
She also urged the Government to update the people on the status of the
Sun Bear investment as to whether it is going ahead or not, and whether
adequate natural gas is made available for Sabah industrial development
including Sun Bear.