KUCHING: Sarawak now has full control and authority over the supply, sales and distribution of natural gas within the state following an agreement signed between state-owned Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) and Petronas today.
Deputy Chief Minister Awang Tengah Ali Hassan is hopeful that the state would now be able to attract more investors, adding that in the past, Sarawak had missed many investment opportunities due to insufficient gas supply.
He said as a result, the state government was previously left with no choice but to “beg” from Petronas and even wrote to the prime minister for more gas supply.
Awang Tengah said in 2016, Petronas eventually agreed to give the state 450 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of gas supply, but even that was not enough.
“Natural gas is the ‘crown jewel’ of our petroleum resources where Sarawak holds 54% of the total national gas reserves and 29% of the total national oil reserves,” he said.
He said from 2013 to 2018, Sarawak had been among the top three most preferred investment destinations in Malaysia largely because the state was able to provide competitive power from its hydro power resources.
However, many investors had decided not to invest in the state due to the uncertainties of who was authorised to make decisions on gas supply – Petronas or the Sarawak government.
“But with today’s agreement, it means that effective from Jan 1 this year, Sarawak has full control and authority over the supply, sales and distribution of natural gas within the state, realising the full intent of the state’s Distribution of Gas Ordinance 2016.
“Petros now is the single entity to supply, sell and deliver domestic gas to homes, businesses and industries in the state,” he said.