Monday May 14, 2012
Rapid progress ahead in Johor
By NELSON BENJAMIN, DESIREE TRESA GASPER and MOHD FARHAAN SHAH
PENGERANG: Southern Johor is poised to be become a major oil and gas hub with the development of refineries not just by Petronas but also by a Taiwan-based petrochemical company.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Petronas' Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) project along with the Taiwanese company would help bring in investments totalling RM120bil into the area within the next six years.
“These two projects are poised to make Pengerang a major oil and gas hub in the Asia Pacific region,” he said, adding that the project was three times bigger than the MRT project in the Klang Valley, which was valued at RM40bil to RM45bil.
Najib added that the Rapid project was larger than all the combined Petronas projects in Kertih, Gebeng and Malacca.
“These two refineries will be able to produce a combined 450,000 barrels of oil per day,” he said at the launch of the Rapid project by Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar here yesterday.
Najib added that the first phase of the Petronas project would cover 2,428ha and would need about 40,000 contract workers.
“Once operational, Petronas and the Taiwanese companies will need about 5,000 highly skilled workers,” he added.
Petronas has invested US$20bil (RM60bil) in the Rapid project.
Najib assured locals not to worry about their livelihood as they would be paid compensation. So far, RM4.1mil in compensation has been given to affected fishermen.
“The state government has set up a task force headed by Johor Agriculture and Agro-based Commit-tee chairman Datuk Aziz Kaprawi to help relocate the villagers,” he said, before presenting RM1.24mil to Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said to help repair 124 homes belonging to fishermen in the area.
Najib added that the Government was also prepared to build a fishermen's complex in the new area and provide allocations to buy fishing gear, including boats, nets and engines.
Sultan: Don't oppose development or you will become isolated