Japan to lead $ 2 bn Trans-Malaysia pipeline project

Jan 15, 1997 01:00 AM

Jan. 7, 1997 Companies from Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand will set up a consortium in April to build an oil pipeline across the Malaysian peninsula at a cost of $ 2 billion. The decision to set up the consortium, led by Japanese plant engineer Chiyoda Corp. and Malaysian developer East West Bridge, followed a series of feasibility studies. Other participants include Japanese trading houses Mitsui and Marubeni as well as the governments of Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand. Construction is to start in 1999 with initial operations scheduled for 2001. The pipeline will stretch for 190 kilometres (118 miles) between Alor Setar in Malaysia and Sai Buri in Thailand, and will be capable of carrying 2 million barrels of crude oil a day. The pipeline is aimed at easing heavy maritime traffic in the Straits of Malacca, the main route through which crude oil is transported from the Gulf to East Asia. Under the plan, oil produced in the Middle East will be unloaded at Alor Selar on the west coast of the peninsula and piped to Sai Buri on the east coast for shipment to countries such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. The officials said the project also involved the construction of 48 tanks on both sides of the peninsula, each capable of holding 630,000 barrels. Initial partners in the new company, to be based in Malaysia and initially capitalised at $ 5 mm, will seek additional investment from oil companies in the Middle East.

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