Athi Veeranggan | May 3, 08 4:25pm
The Penang state government has claimed that a potential investment worth RM1 billion ‘ran away’ from Penang as the gas pipe built across the Seberang Perai district was not functioning.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said although the gas pipe erected by Petronas from Kuala Lumpur across Seberang Perai Selatan, Tengah and Utara had been completed, no gas was supplied.
"Due to this no supply of gas, we lost a billion ringgit in potential investment from a German company," he told reporters in Penang yesterday.
He said that the German company indicated its interest to invest in Penang two weeks ago but it decided to pull out after it learnt that it could not derive gas supply from the pipeline.
The gas supply, Lim said, was an important fuel for the foreign company to generate solar energy needed for its industry.
"Now the people of Penang has lost RM1 billion in investments because Petronas could not supply gas direct from its pipeline," fumed the chief minister.
Lim is curious as to why Petronas is unable to supply gas for domestic use in households and industrial sites in Penang and other states when the country is a leading supplier of refined gas globally.
Raise issue in Parliament
The pipeline runs from a Petronas plant in Terengganu to Port Klang, cutting through Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor.
However, none of these states receive gas supply from the pipeline for their domestic use in households and industries.
Lim, who is also Bagan MP, said all the affected state governments and members of Parliament irrespective of their political affiliation should raise the issue of this "no gas supply" in Parliament.
Being a top gas exporter, Malaysia should not face a shortage of gas supply domestically, he said.
He recalled a similar incident when the country faced a shortage of palm oil-based cooking oil when Malaysia was supplying 50 per cent of the product globally.
"Even countries without a single palm oil tree, such as Singapore, has not faced a shortage in cooking oil," he said,
He said his state government would seek more details on the Petronas pipeline from the federal government, the Economic Planning Unit and Petronas..
"We need to know the details from the relevant authorities as we cannot afford to be in the dark over such an important issue," he added.