As mega projects go they do not come much bigger than the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy that aims to transform Sarawak into a developed state by 2020 by accelerating the State's economic growth and development that will ultimately lead to improvement to the Sarawak economy and quality of life for the people of Sarawak. This is obviously good for Sarawak business.
The Sarawak Chamber of Commerce and Industry have stated that they intend to set up a databank of the project so as to enable local SME's to explore what possible business opportunities could be available to them.
Historically the Sarawak economy has been dictated by its rich natural resources such as Liquefied Natural Gas, Oil, Timber, Pepper and Rubber.
Any time there is change, especially big change like this, there is opportunity and the astute Sarawak businessman will be looking for these opportunities so he can exploit them, in a totally ethical way of course!
The actual building of all this infrastructure incorporating the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy is so large that it will definitely help both local companies and the workforce in general as more and more jobs are created.
The investment is so large that it will benefit the local population in many ways. At some point a local workforce will have to be in place to drive forward the new industries to Sarawak and that will inevitably lead to re-training for some and a better education system for all in the not to distant future.
Once online this will allow Sarawak to price its energy competitively compared to the world market and thus energy intensive industries will be encouraged to open plants that will be the catalyst for the corridor to become a vibrant industrial sector.
On top of the hydropower potential there is an estimated natural gas reserve of 40.9 trillion square cubic feet and around 1.46 billion tonnes of coal found in this resource abundant central region.
There have been 10 industries that have been prioritised to focus on enticing both foreign and local investment and they are the Aluminium Industry, Glass Industry, Steel Industry, Oil Based Industry, Palm Oil Industry, Fishing and Aquatic Industry, Livestock Industry, Timber Based Industry, Marine Engineering and the Tourism Industry.
Five New Growth Nodes have been selected as the focus for investment effort and they are Tanjung Manis, Mukah, Samalaju, Baram and Tunoh.
The investment in infrastructure will not stop at power generation as major improvements will be made to the roads, bridges, airports, ports and railways to sufficiently support heavy industries.
There are at least 7 locations that have been identified for hydro electric plants capable of generating enough power to feasibly entice heavy industry to invest in this location.
To say the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy is huge is an understatement, it is located on the coastal region of central Sarawak and covers an amazing 320 km along the coast from Tanjung Manis to Samalaju and extends inland covering an area of 70,000 sq km that is home to over 600,000 people with the current major urban centres being Sibu, Bintulu, Mukah and Kapit.
Sarawak Chamber Of Commerce
While it may be some years until these are dislodged as the main source of exports you can be sure at some point the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy will have a significant positive impact on the Sarawak economy and help improve the whole economic outlook for Malaysia.
The heart of this project is about a massive upgrading of infrastructure including renewable energy with the bulk of the estimated 28,000 mw required being generated by hydropower.
Tanjung Manis will be developed into an Industrial Port CIty and Halal Hub, Samalaju will become the new Heavy Industry Centre, whereas Baram and Tunoh will focus on tourism and resource based industries.
Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy
Mukah is to be developed as a smart city and will serve as an administrative nerve centre for the entire corridor.