Proposed cargo rail line from Kanthan to Lumut could happen soon, says Perak MB
IPOH, May 8 — Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad said the proposed cargo rail line from Kanthan in Chemor to the Lumut Port project could materialise soon as foreign investment shows signs of blossoming in the state.
Saarani said that the project brought up by a local private company under the Private Funding Initiative (PFI) last year needed a sufficient number of foreign investors in Perak before it could convince the Public Private Partnership Unit (UKAS) to approve the project.
“The cargo rail line project was a suggestion from a private sector entity using the PFI method and does not involve state or federal government funds.
“So, in order to carry out the project via the PFI method, the company first needed to get UKAS approval by convincing them that there is adequate and worthwhile foreign investment in the state.
“Initially, when the private company came up with the project, we did not have enough proof to show that we had such investments, but now, we have it following the introduction of Built-To-Suit and Lease (BTSL) plans for foreign investors,” he told a press conference here.
He explained that under the BTSL plan, the state government will be building the plant or facilities for the foreign investors according to their specifications and the latter will only have to pay the lease.
With the expectation of more foreign investment in the state now, Saarani said he hopes that the private company will be ready to present the project to UKAS and convince them.
On August 21, Saarani had said that the project had yet to be approved, even though all the state executive council members had agreed to it in principle.
“There were no objections from the exco as long as (the project) does not burden the state government,” he said.
Separately, Saarani today announced the establishment of a RM40 million zero-waste facility spanning an 11.88-acre site in Khantan under the BTSL plan owned by a Chinese company Jinjing Silicon Technology Sdn Bhd.
He said the plant will process minerals encompassing intermediate and downstream processes in an efficient way.
“It is expected to yield an annual production output of one million tons of white silica sand, 100,000 tonnes of high-purity quartz sand and silicon materials for the thriving renewable energy industry.
“The plant is scheduled to commence operations in the third quarter of 2024 and expected to create 500 new job opportunities,” he said.