PRESS Metal Bhd’s new 240,000-tonne-a-year aluminium smelter in Samalaju Industrial Park, Bintulu is expected to start operations in June.
Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) chief executive officer Torstein Dale Sjotveit confirmed this in a report by The Star recently.
SEB would supply 480MW to the new smelting plant.
Press Metal already owns and operates Malaysia’s first aluminium smelter in Balingian, Mukah Division, which is currently operating at a full capacity of 120,000 tonnes per annum.
The plant uses technology provided by Aluminium Corporation of China Limited (CHALCO), the top aluminium company in China and the fourth largest aluminium player in the world.
CHALCO’s parent company Aluminium Corp of China (CHINALCO) is actually in a joint venture with Gulf International Investment Group Holdings Sdn Bhd (GIIGH) called Smelter Asia, to jointly develop a US$1.6 billion (RM4.95 billion) aluminium smelting plant with an annual capacity of 370,000 tonnes in Samalaju.
Anyway, back to Press Metal, which is a Malaysian-based aluminium company with an extensive global presence.
What started as a private owned local aluminium extrusion company in 1986, has become a public listed global integrated aluminium player with 200,000 metric tonnes per annum of remelt capacity and 160,000 metric tonnes per annum of aluminium extrusion capacity. It is the leading aluminium extruder in South East Asia.
When Press Metal’s new plant is operational, its combined capacity with the current Mukah Plant would be 360,000 tonnes a year.
Last September, Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation bought a 20 per cent stake in Press Metal’s Mukah plant.
“Sumitomo expects that the new partnership with Press Metal will enhance its long-term growth strategy in the aluminum business,” the Tokyo-based company said in a statement on its website.
It also has an option to increase its stake to 25 per cent and to participate in the Samalaju plant.
Sumitomo Corporation is Japan’s third-largest trading company with 114 offices in 65 countries and a paid up capital of 219.3 billion yen (RM8.10 billion).
Now if all these global companies have such great faith and trust to invest their money in Sarawak, why is it that some quarters locally show so little belief in the State’s capabilities?
Real transformation for a secure future for Sarawakians and not just passing change.