KUCHING: The Sarawak government has, via its investment arm Sarawak State Financial Secretary (SFS), bought another 15% stake in Malaysia LNG Tiga Sdn Bhd (MLNG Tiga), increasing its shareholding to 25%.
The stake was bought from Shell Gas Holdings (Malaysia) Ltd, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc.
State Financial Secretary Datuk Seri Ahmad Tarmizi Sulaiman and Shell Malaysia chairman Datuk Iain Lo signed the sales and purchase agreement here on Friday. Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg witnessed the event.
With the acquisition, this has increased SFS’s shareholding in MLNG Tiga to 25%, making it the second largest shareholder.
Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) holds 60% in MLNG Tiga. Nippon Oil Finance (Netherlands) BV has a 10% and Diamond Gas (Nethelands) BV, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corp, 5%.
Petronas subsidiary Malaysia LNG Sdn Bhd operates MLNG 3 as part of the larger Petronas LNG complex in Bintulu.
At the request of Shell, Johari told reporters later that he could not reveal how much SFS had paid for the 15% stake in MLNG Tiga, only saying that the pice tag was “reasonable.”
He said SFS was ready to increase its shareholdings in MLNG Tiga if Petronas considers to divest some of its sharesholdings.
He said the SFS had recently acquired a 10% stake in MLNG 9 Train,which started operations in 2016 with an annual production capacity of 3.6 million tonnes.
Johari said the acquisition of equity interest in MLNG 3 and MLNG 9 Train was in line with Sarawak’s efforts to diversify its economy and increase its revenue stream.
Up to 2017, he said SFS has received close to RM20bil in dividends from its investments in MLNG 1 to 3 projects.
“ I will announce in October another initiative that will help Sarawak to generate a new revenue stream,” he added.
He described the latest equity acquisition in MLNG Tiga as another milestone for Sarawak to participate actively in both the upstream and downstream industries of the oil and gas (O&G) industry.
He said Sarawak was embarking on a methanol plant project in Bintulu,which is estimated to cost RM8.4bil, as part of the state to venture into more downstream value-adding petro-chemical industry.
On the newly formed Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros),Johari expects the state-owned company to be “up and running” in two years, and to start contributing revenue to the state coffers in the next few years.
Petros was set up to enable Sarawak to participate in the upstream O&G development, particularly in the exploration and extraction of oil and gas resources.
Johari said Sarawak required massive funds to finance its various development projects,particularly road and bridge projects.
He said the newly operational Sarawak Development Bank would finance some of the strategic projects,such as the proposed methanol plant.