KUCHING: Construction of a US$850 million (RM3.74 billion) methanol plant, located at Tanjung Kidurong, Bintulu, is set for completion in 2021.
Once up and running, the 80.9-hectare plant is expected to produce 5,000 tonnes of methanol and methanol derivatives a day, Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Abang Openg said today.
“The current market price for methanol is about US$300 (RM1,230) per tonne, and we hope it will continue to rise.
“Thus, it will contribute significantly to the state’s economic transformation progress,” he added.
The plant, which is fully-owned by the state government, is also expected to create more than 2,000 job opportunities, including 200 professional vacancies.
“Priority (of employment), of course, will be given to our people, the Sarawakians,” he added.
Abang Johari said that in the next two years, Sarawak will invest US$2 billion (RM8.8 billion) in the project, in stages.
“I will have my own formula to get the (funds) for the project, as we are committed to transforming Bintulu into a petrochemical hub and to increasing our participation in the downstream activities of the oil and gas industry,” he said.
The Chief Minister, however, declined to elaborate on his formula.
He was speaking at the signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) and Yayasan Hartanah Bumiputera Sarawak (YHBS), a state government entity here.