KUCHING, Feb 28 — The Sarawak government is striving to turn Bintulu into a gas industry hub, says Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Openg.
“We have brought up this (proposal) to the federal government (in our quest) to seek the cooperation of Petronas into making Bintulu a gas hub.
“If Pengerang (Johor) can become a refinery hub, we want Sarawak (Bintulu) to be the gas hub, and I have indicated this to Petronas,” he said.
He was speaking at the 1,000,000 Manhours Milestone Without Any Lost Time Injury for the EPC Kinabalu Re-Development Project Ceremony at Muara Tebas here today.
Abang Johari said the oil and gas industry should be centralised in Bintulu (in northern Sarawak) as its infrastructure and surroundings were feasible to cater to the industrial needs.
This is a part of the state’s effort to enhance the involvement of locals in the oil and gas industry as many areas in Sarawak are rich in oil resources and have yet to be explored, he added.
Abang Johari said he told Petronas that companies in Sarawak had the expertise to explore the oil reserves in Sarawak’s waters as they were not too large.
“If the areas (oil fields) were too big, the cost might be high. Large companies like Petronas and Shell might not be interested to explore these small areas,” he said, adding that but they were enough for Sarawakians to capitalise on.
In another development, Abang Johari, who became chief minister last month, said he was still exploring the new direction for Sarawak’s economy.
“But one thing is for certain, I want to migrate Sarawak from the conventional and traditional economy to the digital economy where we will give employment opportunities for our young graduates.
“They don’t have to be involved in semi-skilled industries, but we want them to go to higher level.
“For that I’m calling international experts to give their input for us to formulate our policies towards the digital economy,” he said. — Bernama