KUALA LUMPUR: The Sarawak BioHub Port and Industrial Estate development, located on 2,500 hectares (ha) of land between Bintulu and Samalaju with an estimated development cost of RM20 billion over 10 years, is expected to kick-start in the first quarter of 2021.
Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) will be the coordinator for the project which will be developed by a consortium with the Port of Rotterdam, Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd and Regal International Group among the key partners.
AIM chief executive officer Naser Jaafar said the project is now still at the feasibility study phase and the master plan is expected to be revealed in the first quarter of 2021 followed by the ground breaking.
“We have been supporting this project since the start with like-minded stakeholders and strong implementation partners to make this vision a reality,” he told reporters at the showcase of the project here yesterday.
Also present at the event were Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (MOSTI) secretary-general Datuk Siti Hamisah Tapsir and Ambassador of the Netherlands to Malaysia Aart Jacobi.
AIM senior vice president Timothy Ong said the total cost of RM20 billion will come from the key consortium partners excluding the downstream companies, which would also be investing.
“We received a lot of interest from many parties, apart from the founding partners we are also talking to three to four other parties. As we go along there will be more and more parties involved,” he said.
Out of the 2,500 ha allocated for the project, he said the BioHub Port will take up about 200 to 300 ha, while the industrial estate will be co-developed in phases with downstream companies, which would be allocated 30 ha each.
He noted that the port would be operated collectively by Bintulu Port and the Port of Rotterdam.
Naser added that the Port of Rotterdam was chosen to be the key partner based on their know-how in operating and developing sustainable ports using green energy.
“Combined with the localised technical and feedstock knowledge of Bintulu Port, Regal and other consortium partners, Sarawak will be well-positioned to realise its potential as an ideal location for the high-value biomass industry,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hamisah in reading Mosti Minister Khairi Jamaluddin’s speech, said the BioHub Port had been identified as an enabling component to the Circular Economy Malaysia Plan.
Conceptualised, promoted and supported by AIM with a growing list of partners will help spur highly localised and value-added activities, she said.
“It has been estimated that Sarawak stands to capture about RM4.8 billion additional revenue per year, create more than 35,000 new green jobs and generate about RM18 billion in investment.
“The BioHub Port can be a major contributor,” she added. – Bernama