KKIP, Sun Bear Solar expected to sign agreement soon


KOTA KINABALU: KKIP Sdn Bhd, a state government-owned company, and Sun Bear Solar Sdn Bhd are expected to sign an agreement soon to buy or lease 275 acres of land to set up a factory to manufacture solar panels.The factory will make use of silica from Pulau Balambangan in the northern coast of Sabab.

State Industrial Development Minister Datuk Raymond Tan said KKIP needed the state government’s assistance to resolve various issues, including getting natural gas supply from Petronas Bhd at 42 million cubic feet daily, electricity supply at 354 megawatts and access to the silica supply at Pulau Balambangan.

“The industrial activity needs silica supply of high quality and the concession to mine the sand from Pulau Balambangan will also be given a related opportunity to process the sand,” he said in response to a question from Datuk Liew Teck Chan (SAPP-Likas) at the State Legislative Assembly here yesterday.

Tan said only 3,000 acres or 11 per cent of the estimated 26,000-acre Pulau Balambangan will be involved in the extraction of sand.

He said to be in accordance with the environmental protection laws, the investors also needed to get the approval of authorities concerned.

The overall benefit to be derived from the project to produce solar panels was the emergence of the solar-based industry in the state, Tan said. In addition, he said, the project was identified among the national projects to be given encouragement in the country.

Tan said the pioneer project will place Sabah as an investment destination for various solar-based industry’s sub-sectors, including research and development, export of cell components, and marketing for small and medium industries.

He said the investment concerned will give rise to 1,082 job opportunities and also indirect work opportunities in the construction, logistics, hotel, housing, banking and services sectors.

The investment, he added, is also expected to contribute RM2.5 million in annual tax. — Bernama