KUALA LUMPUR: The multi-billion Ringgit Tanjong Agas oil and gas and maritime industrial park project in Pekan, Pahang, is expected to create 30,000 new jobs over the next 10 years.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak estimated that 5,000 jobs would be created under the first phase of the project, which is scheduled to start this year.
“In the long run, apart from creating new economic spin-offs, the Tanjong Agas oil and gas and maritime industrial park will provide opportunities for local knowledge workers to be employed in industries from ship repair and maintenance, petrochemicals, and logistics to supplies for the oil and gas industry.
“Economically, as a nation, we have to migrate from being dependent on cheap labour to remain competitive. Instead, we need to focus on upgrading our skills to cater for knowledge-based industries that require more technicians, engineers, scientists and professionals in many fields.
“It is my hope that the development of this maritime industrial park will take note of this and use as many locals as possible so that we can generate more employment opportunities and high-paying jobs for locals,” he said at the launching of the project by Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang yesterday.
Present was Tengku Mahkota of Pahang Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, the chairman of Tanjong Agas Supply Base and Marine Services (TASBMS) Tengku Abdul Rahman Sultan Ahmad Shah and Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob.
Najib said the development of the park was timely and appropriate for the area.
“Apart from being located in Pekan, its location on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, where the oil and gas clusters are located, will strengthen the viability of this development and spearhead more economic benefits in the east coast.
“The world economic crisis, will eventually, like any other crises before us, fade away.
“As such, the development of the project could not come at a better time.
“This is indeed an opportunity for us, be it as businessmen or government, to prepare ourselves for the boom time that will come in the near future.
“I believe this project could become one of the catalysts for our economic growth in this trying time.”
Najib also envisioned that the economic multiplier for the project would be enormous.
“The supporting industries around this project will come in many forms.
“The benefits will flow to suppliers of equipment, financial capital and engineering services, construction, logistics, basic utilities like electricity and water, road infrastructure and many more including the creation of new townships and attracting new foreign direct investment.
“This development will benefit a lot of companies be it SMEs and large corporations. It is also consistent with what the government is trying to do to stimulate the economy amid the global financial crisis.
“The mini-budget that will be released on March 10 will outline some of the initiatives that will generate more economic activities.”
He believed Malaysia could do well in the oil and gas industry just as it had been successful in the manufacturing of electronics, semi-conductors and hi-tech equipment.
“I do not see any reason why we cannot replicate the same success in the oil and gas industry.
“As it is now, the petrochemical and oil and gas clusters that we have in Gebeng and Kerteh where Petronas and other petrochemicals companies have established their businesses are testimonies to the fact that we can be successful in this area.
“The development of the park is an extension of this cluster.
“More importantly, this maritime industrial park can cater for the needs of regional players in Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Indochina and the Philippines.”
The project has attracted RM6 billion worth of investment from local and foreign companies like Vantech Dockyard (M); Usatech Marine; Bitari Abadi; Core Competencies; Damini Corporation and Competent Selection.
They signed a memorandum of agreement with TASBMS yesterday.
TASBMS managing director Mohd Faidzal Ahmad Mahidin said the company was negotiating with more than 10 investors.
He said the construction of the park would begin in the early second quarter of this year on a 1,639ha area with the project expected to be completed within the next three to four years.
Source : The New Straits Times