IPOH: The construction of the West Ipoh Span Expressway (WISE), which will run between Gopeng and Kuala Kangsar, is expected to commence early next month, announced Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad.

Saarani explained that currently, discussions are in the final stages, focusing on reviewing the draft agreement between the concession company and the Federal government.

He noted that the draft Concession Agreement (CA) is now being reviewed by the Attorney General’s Chambers.

“The CA will be signed once the agreement is finalised, allowing the concession company to begin construction of the expressway,“ he stated during a press conference after officiating the 27th Annual General Meeting of the Masjid Perak Cooperative today.

Previously, the media reported that the Federal government is working to expedite the construction of WISE to alleviate congestion on the North-South Expressway (PLUS), especially around the Menora Tunnel.

The 60-kilometre highway will feature three lanes in both directions, starting in Gopeng and passing through Batu Gajah, Siputeh, Manong, Tronoh, Beko, Seri Iskandar, and ending in Kuala Kangsar.

On another note, Saarani announced that representatives from the prominent South Korean company Star Group Industries recently visited several locations in Perak with plans to establish a magnet manufacturing plant.

He noted that the locations included Kamunting in Taiping, Bandariang in Gerik, and Silver Valley Technology Park.

“We informed them that Perak possesses minerals, including non-radioactive rare earth elements (NR-REE). We convinced them to visit Perak, and they verified the information.

“They were pleased with what they saw and showed positive reactions. I am confident they will invest here,“ he said.

In April, Saarani and a state government delegation conducted an eight-day working visit to South Korea to attract investments to Perak, particularly in the mineral industry.