06/11/2007 (Bernama), Sarikei - Sarawak's new industrial township of Tanjung Manis near here saw work begin today on a RM300 million integrated complex that is the outcome of a partnership between the public and private sectors.
The partners are the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC), ASSAR Senari Group, Petronas Dagangan Bhd and Shell Timur Sdn Bhd.
They are building a four-component project which comprises a petroleum storage terminal known as CODT or Central Oil Distribution Terminal, a palm oil refinery together with a kernel crusher plant, an oil & gas jetty and a light petrochemicals and oleo-chemical park to serve the state's central region.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud today performed the earth-breaking ceremony for the first component, the CODT.
According to ASSAR Senari Group chairman Tan Sri Bujang Nor, the whole project is on a 54.6ha site and will be known as the ASSAR Senari Industrial Complex Dua (ASIC 2).
Its integrated development follows the similar development of ASIC 1 at Senari in Kuching.
He said other downstream facilities such as the bio-diesel and oleo-chemical palnts will be considered when there is abundant supply of crude palm oil in the state's central region.
On the CODT, Bujang said its capacity will be 500 million litres of petroleum a year and is expected to be ready by the end of 2009.
"When completed, large vessels carrying petroleum can come here to discharge their cargo and reduce by millions of ringgit the logistics costs to the oil companies," he said.
"But its construction itself will create tremendous spin-off effects in terms of jobs, businesses and other services."
On the palm oil refinery/kernel crusher plant, he said it is to tap the huge potential palm oil production in the region.
He said with the completion of the 67km Sibu-Tanjung Manis Road, also by the end of 2009, planters and millers could make huge savings by not having to send their products all the way to Bintulu or Kuching.
He said the refinery, capable of producing 1,000 metric tons a day, will be launched soon by a consortium of Ta Ann Holdings Bhd, Rimbunan Hijau Group, Tradewinds Plantations Bhd and Bintulu Lumber Development Sdn Bhd.
Bujang said Tanjung Manis was chosen for the joint venture project as it is strategically located with a natural draft of between 11m and 13m which can accommodate vessels of up to 25,000 deadweight tonnes.
He said when the oil & gas jetty is ready, it can handle exports to international markets.
"Additionally, Tanjung Manis will serve as the import/export hub for central Sarawak and its hinterlands," he added.
Earlier Taib in his speech expected Tanjung Manis to grow rapidly and by 2010 it will need an outlet to export its produce and import machinery for its industries.