Ambitious SCORE project ready to take Sarawak economy to the next level

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The Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) is the state government’s flagship economic development plan to enable Sarawak to achieve high-income status by 2020 in tandem with the federal government’s target.

The Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy, or SCORE, is a major economic development plan aimed at developing the state’s central regions and helping Sarawak achieve developed status by 2020 in tandem with federal government ambitions.

Several sectors are targeted for development but the main thrust is to boost heavy and energy intensive industries, resource-based industries, halal products and ecotourism. Being one of the five regional economic corridors in Malaysia, SCORE stretches across more than 350 kilometres of land between Similajau and Tanjung Manis and into the interior of the central region of Sarawak with key industrial zones located at strategic areas along its path.

The Sarawak government hopes that SCORE can encourage local and foreign companies to invest in an array of sectors and steer the state away from the oil and gas sector and agro-dominated economy and embrace technology, bioscience, and financial services, among others.

“SCORE is Sarawak’s way of trying to diversify our economy further, from agro-based to heavy industries,” said Sarawak Chief Minister Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud, who has been the driving force behind the state’s rising economic importance over the past 30 years. It is hoped that SCORE will help to make it easier for companies to do business in Sarawak and expand opportunities for SMEs to feed off the activities of bigger foreign and domestic players.

The programme, which adheres to the principles of the Tenth Malaysia Plan for economic development, is also designed to raise the capacity for knowledge and innovation and provide fresh job opportunities for skilled talent. A primary mission is to enrich the lives of people living in remote parts of Sarawak and accelerate growth in these areas.

The two SCORE hotspots are the Samalaju Industrial Park (SIP) in Bintulu and the Tanjung Manis Halal Hub (TMHH) on the western-most part of the SCORE area. Also significant is the newly completed Bakun Dam hydroelectric power station on the Balui River, which will generate 2,400 megawatts of electricity once fully commission and is the main source of energy for the industries in SIP and other areas.

Other hydro-based power stations are also planned in Sarawak to provide power for more industries coming into SCORE area.

SIP has seen frenetic activity since SCORE was launched and is proving to be a template for the programme’s success. Fed by power from the Bakun Dam, several major heavy industry players have already committed to the Park.

One of the biggest names is Japan’s Tokuyama Corporation, which is building two polycrystalline silicon plants in SIP that would eventually have the capacity produce more than 20,000 tonnes a year.

The first plant is due for completion in September 2013 at a cost of RM3 billion and will produce 6,200 tonnes of polycrystalline silicon a year. The second plant, costing RM3.72 billion, will start construction in April, 2012 and is expected to be completed in 2015 with an annual capacity of 13,800 tonnes.

Aluminium production will have a strong in SIP. A US$1.6 billion aluminium smelter, with an annual capacity of 370,000 tonnes, is being planned by a joint China-Malaysia venture. The project brings together the Aluminium Corporation of China and a Malaysian group headed by tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary and UAE business leader Mohammed Ali Rasheed Alabbar.

Malaysian company Press Metal Bintulu is also building an aluminium smelter in SIP with a capacity of 240,000 while another joint venture featuring a global giant sees Rio Tinto Alcan joining forces with Cahya Mata Sarawak Berhad (CMSB) to build a US$1 billion plant in Samalaju with 720,000 per annum capacity.

Hong Kong-based Asia Minerals Ltd has pledged to spend up to RM3 billion to build a manganese smelting plant in SIP while CMSB is planning a manganese and ferro silicon alloy plant in partnership with Australian company OM Holdings, who will have a 20 per cent stake.

There has been plenty of investment-related activity at TMHH, a 77,000-hectare are of land ripe for development as Sarawak vies to lead the way in food and water security for the region. Upstream and downstream activities are being encouraged with a modern road system recently built connecting the hub to Sibu.

Given its halal theme, TMHH is attracting strong interest from Middle East investors, who have signed three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with the hub that would attract billions of ringgit in investments.

The first agreement was between Tanjung Manis Food & Industrial Park Sdn Bhd and Inside Investor to facilitate investments from the GCC into TMHH. The Malaysian company also signed with New York-based Borneo Agriculture to set up a US$500 million fund from GVC to invest in the hub. Perigon Advisory WLL also signed on to establish a RM3 billion Food & Agriculture Fund for Islamic countries.

As a state rich in rainforest and natural beauty, ecotourism will play an important role in SCORE. Miri, in eastern Sarawak, is renowned as the state’s resort city and the government plans to expand its attractions to encourage tourists to visit the area.

More hotels and resorts are to be built while infrastructure will be improved to meet the needs of the tens of thousands of addition tourists who are expected to travel to Sarawak over the coming years.

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) is the state government’s flagship economic development plan to enable Sarawak to achieve high-income status by 2020 in tandem with the federal government’s target.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) is the state government’s flagship economic development plan to enable Sarawak to achieve high-income status by 2020 in tandem with the federal government’s target.

The Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy, or SCORE, is a major economic development plan aimed at developing the state’s central regions and helping Sarawak achieve developed status by 2020 in tandem with federal government ambitions.

Several sectors are targeted for development but the main thrust is to boost heavy and energy intensive industries, resource-based industries, halal products and ecotourism. Being one of the five regional economic corridors in Malaysia, SCORE stretches across more than 350 kilometres of land between Similajau and Tanjung Manis and into the interior of the central region of Sarawak with key industrial zones located at strategic areas along its path.

The Sarawak government hopes that SCORE can encourage local and foreign companies to invest in an array of sectors and steer the state away from the oil and gas sector and agro-dominated economy and embrace technology, bioscience, and financial services, among others.

“SCORE is Sarawak’s way of trying to diversify our economy further, from agro-based to heavy industries,” said Sarawak Chief Minister Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud, who has been the driving force behind the state’s rising economic importance over the past 30 years. It is hoped that SCORE will help to make it easier for companies to do business in Sarawak and expand opportunities for SMEs to feed off the activities of bigger foreign and domestic players.

The programme, which adheres to the principles of the Tenth Malaysia Plan for economic development, is also designed to raise the capacity for knowledge and innovation and provide fresh job opportunities for skilled talent. A primary mission is to enrich the lives of people living in remote parts of Sarawak and accelerate growth in these areas.

The two SCORE hotspots are the Samalaju Industrial Park (SIP) in Bintulu and the Tanjung Manis Halal Hub (TMHH) on the western-most part of the SCORE area. Also significant is the newly completed Bakun Dam hydroelectric power station on the Balui River, which will generate 2,400 megawatts of electricity once fully commission and is the main source of energy for the industries in SIP and other areas.

Other hydro-based power stations are also planned in Sarawak to provide power for more industries coming into SCORE area.

SIP has seen frenetic activity since SCORE was launched and is proving to be a template for the programme’s success. Fed by power from the Bakun Dam, several major heavy industry players have already committed to the Park.

One of the biggest names is Japan’s Tokuyama Corporation, which is building two polycrystalline silicon plants in SIP that would eventually have the capacity produce more than 20,000 tonnes a year.

The first plant is due for completion in September 2013 at a cost of RM3 billion and will produce 6,200 tonnes of polycrystalline silicon a year. The second plant, costing RM3.72 billion, will start construction in April, 2012 and is expected to be completed in 2015 with an annual capacity of 13,800 tonnes.

Aluminium production will have a strong in SIP. A US$1.6 billion aluminium smelter, with an annual capacity of 370,000 tonnes, is being planned by a joint China-Malaysia venture. The project brings together the Aluminium Corporation of China and a Malaysian group headed by tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary and UAE business leader Mohammed Ali Rasheed Alabbar.

Malaysian company Press Metal Bintulu is also building an aluminium smelter in SIP with a capacity of 240,000 while another joint venture featuring a global giant sees Rio Tinto Alcan joining forces with Cahya Mata Sarawak Berhad (CMSB) to build a US$1 billion plant in Samalaju with 720,000 per annum capacity.

Hong Kong-based Asia Minerals Ltd has pledged to spend up to RM3 billion to build a manganese smelting plant in SIP while CMSB is planning a manganese and ferro silicon alloy plant in partnership with Australian company OM Holdings, who will have a 20 per cent stake.

There has been plenty of investment-related activity at TMHH, a 77,000-hectare are of land ripe for development as Sarawak vies to lead the way in food and water security for the region. Upstream and downstream activities are being encouraged with a modern road system recently built connecting the hub to Sibu.

Given its halal theme, TMHH is attracting strong interest from Middle East investors, who have signed three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with the hub that would attract billions of ringgit in investments.

The first agreement was between Tanjung Manis Food & Industrial Park Sdn Bhd and Inside Investor to facilitate investments from the GCC into TMHH. The Malaysian company also signed with New York-based Borneo Agriculture to set up a US$500 million fund from GVC to invest in the hub. Perigon Advisory WLL also signed on to establish a RM3 billion Food & Agriculture Fund for Islamic countries.

As a state rich in rainforest and natural beauty, ecotourism will play an important role in SCORE. Miri, in eastern Sarawak, is renowned as the state’s resort city and the government plans to expand its attractions to encourage tourists to visit the area.

More hotels and resorts are to be built while infrastructure will be improved to meet the needs of the tens of thousands of addition tourists who are expected to travel to Sarawak over the coming years.

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