Sunday, May 26

Penang aims to reclaim 400 acres of land for Silicon Island project each year

The Penang government targets to reclaim about 400 acres (161.87 hectares) of land each year for the Silicon Island project and intends to start the construction of the first factory on that island as early as 2026.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said a five-acre (2.02-hectare) area had been reclaimed since work began in early October by using two boats, with each having the capacity to transport 7,000 cubic metres of sand.

“Next year, dredging works will be stepped up, by adding two more boats with a large capacity of 20,000 cubic metres each.

“This is to speed up the progress of the project,” he told reporters after visiting the Penang South Island (PSI) here on Sunday.

With that, he said the government expects the land component to be ready in the next eight- to 10 years, and then infrastructure construction can begin.

He said the most important infrastructure construction was the temporary bridge that will connect the south of the Penang International Airport to the island, to facilitate access to the construction site there, which is currently only possible by boat.

Chow is also confident that the Silicon Island project would be able to repeat the success of the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone (FIZ), which brought reform to Penang’s economy more than 50 years ago.

“Today, we can still feel and rely on the contributions of the Bayan Lepas FIZ, which supplies electrical and electronic (E&E) products to the world market.

“As such, it cannot be denied that we need Silicon Island to further expand the industrial land in Bayan Lepas, to guarantee the growth and increase the competitiveness of our state’s leading E&E manufacturing sector,” he said.

Silicon Island will see the construction of the high-technology industrial park, Green Tech Park (GTP); global business services and software hub (or GBS Campus); commercial development; housing, as well as green recreational areas which are expected to generate a gross domestic product of RM1.1 trillion, investment of RM74.7 billion and 220,000 employment opportunities.

Reclamation work on the 2,300-acre Silicon Island in the south of Penang is expected to be completed by 2032, while the overall development will take about 25 years.

Earlier on Sunday, Chow, Deputy Chief Minister 1 Datuk Dr Mohamad Abdul Hamid and state executive councillors accompanied the Penang Governor Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak, to visit the reclamation site. – Bernama

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