GEORGE TOWN, May 23 — MPDT Capital Berhad wants to build a RM1 billion desalination plant in Penang that can make 250 million litres per day (MLD) of potable water from seawater.
Its chief executive officer Datuk Nik Zamri Abdul Majid said the company is proposing to set up the plant on a concrete deck above the sea near the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge.
"Our proposal is to provide desalinated water to the state free without capital expenditure but of course, with concession and other terms and conditions,” he said in a press conference this morning after the groundbreaking ceremony of a desalination plant at MPDT Tanjung City in Weld Quay here.
He said MPDT's proposal is to offer potable water to the Penang Water Supply Corporation for distribution to the water authority's consumers.
He said the extra guaranteed water supply will be an attraction to investors, especially those in the manufacturing sector.
"The industries need guaranteed water supply and this this plant, we can guarantee water supply so we hope the state will approve our proposal,” he said.
He said the plant’s capacity of producing 250 MLD may not be enough for whole of Penang but it could be sufficient for the industries in the Free Industrial Zone in Bayan Lepas.
"We will be presenting this proposal to the state government on the 26th of this month,” he said.
On the desalination plant that MPDT is building at the MPDT Tanjung City, Nik Zamri said it will produce about one MLD of potable water.
The water supply will be sufficient for the usage of the tenants at the redevelopment project.
Nik Zamri said the water will be provided free to all tenants at the site.
"However, if there are no objections from the National Water Services Commission, the ministry and the state government, we can also supply water to ships,” he said.
He said the water can be channelled to the ships in the middle of the sea if the ships don’t want to dock.
The overall costs for the MPDT Tanjung City redevelopment project is estimated at RM120 million.
Nik Zamri said the project, covering 24,956 square metres, will have 17 restaurants and one sports facility.
There are plans to collaborate with some sponsors for the site to be a venue for various events in conjunction with FIFA World Cup at the end of this year.
He said the project was initially expected to complete by October next year.
"Due to World Cup, we hope to complete most of the major facilities by October this year so that we can have World Cup events here,” he said.
He stressed that the company will continue to work closely with the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) to ensure the redevelopment project complied with heritage guidelines.
"We will ensure we follow all heritage guidelines and the MBPP has been very helpful so far,” he said.
Deputy Environment and Water Minister Datuk Mansor Othman, who officiated the groundbreaking ceremony, said desalination is an option to ensure water security.
He said the state should seriously consider this option other than its other water security programmes including the Sungai Perak Raw Water Transfer Scheme.