Petronas to build fertiliser plant for Sabah

Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) will build a fertiliser plant in Sabah that will almost double its fertiliser output in the country.

Construction will start before the middle of next year, with natural gas from Sabah's offshore wells powering the production complex.

The project, dubbed the Sabah Ammonia-Urea or Samur, will take three years to complete with an estimated cost of RM4.5 billion. It will be built on a 60ha site within the Sipitang oil and gas industrial park about 150km south of Kota Kinabalu.

This was announced after Petronas Chemicals Fertiliser Sabah Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Petronas Chemicals Group, signed an agreement with a consortium to undertake the project.

The consortium comprises Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd of Japan, Indonesia's PT Rekayasa and Kuala Lumpur-based Apex Energy Sdn Bhd.

In keeping the Sabah interest, the consortium has appointed state-owned Sabah Energy Corp as its associate, a move that will provide greater participation among Sabah companies in Samur.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said Samur will boost economic growth in the state "dynamically and holistically."

"The appointment of Sabah Energy as an associate to the consortium will help secure various scope of work for local contractors."

He added that some RM600 million worth of contracts will be dished out to Sabah companies.

The work includes site preparation, landscaping, security services, civil works, manpower supply, temporary facilities, inland transportation and process buildings as well as development of a jetty and bagging plant.

"These will be distributed to eligible contractors representing the various chambers of commerce and industries in the state.

"Through such a move, Petronas will not only allow local companies to participate but more importantly, it will create employment opportunities and economic spinoffs for the people," Musa said.

Petronas Chemicals chairman Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said once operational, Samur will boost the production of fertiliser from 1.4 million tonnes annually to 2.6 million tonnes.

The company runs two other fertiliser plants, the Asean Bintulu Fertilizer Sdn Bhd in Sarawak and Petronas Fertilizer (Kedah) Sdn Bhd in Gurun, Kedah.

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