BINTULU: Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg (pix) said today the state is investing more than RM10 billion to make Bintulu a sour gas hub with the development of the Sarawak Integrated Sour Gas Evacuation System (SISGES) in Tanjung Kidurong.

He said the development within Petrochemical Industrial Park (PIP) would align well with Sarawak’s ambitions to attain developed state status by 2030.

“Sour gas used to be considered as not profitable to develop as the processes were expensive but new technology has reduced cost considerably,” he said at the groundbreaking ceremony for Phase One of the SISGES sour gas hub for Shell’s Rosmari-Marjoram Bintulu Onshore Gas Plant in Tanjung Kidurong.

Abang Johari is optimistic that Sarawak’s continental shelf subsea still has huge gas reserves despite early prediction in the early 1990s that Sarawak’s gas could only last for another 20 years.

“More than 30 years on, more and more oil and gas fields are discovered offshore Sarawak, the latest being the six fields in five blocks - SK306, SK411, SK313, SK301B and SK315,” he added.

He also said the region’s oil and gas industry remains attractive to investors after more than a century ago when oil was found in Miri.

He said the setting up of Shell Malaysia Upstream headquarters at Miri Times Square, which he hopes to open soon, is another testament to the confidence and relationship the company has with the Sarawak government.

“However, Sarawak’s political stability and sound policies cannot be discounted as the plus factor for investors like Shell to come to Sarawak to grow their business. If Shell makes money, Sarawak will also make money because we charge sales and service tax (SST),” said the premier.

“Since 2019, Sarawak’s income through SST amounted to RM13 billion instead of the mere 5 per cent royalty that we used to receive for our oil and gas,” he added.

Sarawak is committed to working collaboratively with Shell and Petronas to ensure the success of Rosmari-Marjoram and SISGES sour gas hub initiatives, and the state looks forward to more collaborations between Shell and the region’s oil and gas entity Petros.

Besides oil and gas, Abang Johari said Sarawak is also keen on the carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) space where three reservoirs have been identified offshore the region.

He said planning is on the card to facilitate the development of the reservoirs that should position Sarawak at the forefront of CCUS in the region as they come into operation before the end of the decade. -Bernama

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