Ministry to approve gas licences within 14 working days


Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom

KUCHING: The Ministry of Utilities will approve applications for gas distribution licences within 14 working days effective Jan 1 next year.

When contacted, Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom said this is provided that the licence requirements are met and all necessary documents are submitted.

Last week, the Prime Minister’s Office had said that the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry had agreed to hand over regulatory power on the distribution of gas to the Sarawak government under the Gas Distribution Ordinance 2016.

Under the Ordinance, those taking part in oil and gas downstream businesses in Sarawak are required to apply for a licence from the director of gas distribution in the Ministry of Utilities.

A provision in the said Ordinance states that no person shall distribute gas in Sarawak or carry out the following activities without a licence issued under this Ordinance – (a) import of any gas for regasification, processing, treatment, separation, utilisation or distribution in Sarawak; (b) regasification of gas; (c) treatment, separation or processing of gas; (d) transportation of gas; (e) building, managing or maintaining gas pipeline or other apparatus or equipment or mechanism for the distribution of gas; (f) supply of gas; or (g) retail of gas.

Dr Rundi explained that after a public notice was published in July 2018, most downstream businesses in gas distribution in Sarawak have applied for the ministry’s gas distribution licences.

“All approved licences will be released before October 31 this year,” he said.

For companies that have yet to apply or for those who want to set up new business in gas distribution, they can download the relevant forms from the ministry’s website and submit applications to the office during office hours. Licence application is open throughout the year.

On whether any persons or companies have approached the ministry since the announcement last week, the minister said there have not been any so far because most companies applied for the licences last year.

“The ministry expects to receive more applications for gas distribution licences, and will process all applications according to the established procedures,” he said.

The Gas Distribution Division is prepared to handle all challenges that may crop up, he added.

For more information on gas distribution licences, contact the director of gas distribution, Ministry of Utilities, ninth floor, LCDA Tower, Lot 2879, The Isthmus, Off Jalan Bako, 93050 Kuching, or call 082-551000.

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