NIOSH's Centre of Excellence campus in Kerteh to open soon

SIM BAK HENG



KERTEH: The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)’s target of becoming a centre of excellence for the oil and gas industry is one step closer to being reached, with the completion of its new campus here, which begins operations in June.

The two-storey modern facility will help NIOSH increase its capacity to train at least 25,000 people this year, from 20,000 annually in past years.

The number of additional participants is also expected to increase by about 5,000 annually with the completion of the new campus.

Every year, NIOSH helps train about 120,000 individuals nationwide under various OSH courses.

Its chairman, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, said it is crucial to have the new facility, as the oil and gas industry is expected to improve next year.

"With help from NIOSH's Centre of Excellence, I'm confident that the thriving oil and gas industry in the east coast region will be able to maintain its high OSH level, which also meets international standards," he told reporters after visiting the new campus here today.

Lee said NIOSH is seeing high demand for OSH courses for the petroleum and gas sector from main growth areas in Kerteh, Pengerang (Johor) and Bintulu (Sarawak).

"I really hope that all foreign and local investors and companies that are involved in the industry would use NIOSH facilities and services to train their workers.

"Well-trained workers will help ensure that their workplaces are safe, especially those in high-risk industries such as oil and gas," he said.

Previously, workers from the east coast region had to take relevant OSH courses at the NIOSH facility in Kemaman.

Lee said the demand for OSH courses will continue to increase as the Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Cluster under the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) initiative progresses further.

The cluster comprises the Kerteh Integrated Petrochemical Complex (KIPC) and the Gebeng Integrated Petrochemical Complex (GIPC).

KIPC focuses on ethylene-based petrochemicals, while GIPC concentrates on polypropylene-based petrochemicals, oil palm biomass and palm oil-based feedstock.

Lee said the demand for OSH courses will also increase further when the Kerteh Biopolymer Park and the Kuantan Integrated Biopark are completed.

He added that NIOSH will also offer its services to utility companies in the east coast region, such as Syarikat Air Terengganu, Perbadanan Air Pahang and Air Kelantan Sdn Bhd.

It will also cater for the industries at Tok Bali Supply Base, Kemaman Supply Base, Kuantan Port, Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park and the proposed East Coast Rail Link project.