Preparatory works for the Penang Silicon Island project have begun

Property News/ 2 September 2023 Leave a comment


Preparatory works for the Penang Silicon Island project have started yesterday and will continue until the related works are completed, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said.

He said this followed the approval to the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for the project which was obtained from the state Department of Environment (DOE) on July 21.

The go-ahead is a follow-up to the nod of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA) for the Penang South Island (PSI) project which was approved with 71 conditions by the central DOE through a letter dated April 11.

“With the approval of the agencies involved, the preparatory works for the Silicon Island will begin from today and continue until the related works are completed.

“On behalf of the state government, we express our highest appreciation to the state DOE for the careful assessment that has been given in evaluating and approving the related EMP.

“The decision is the result of cooperation and joint efforts to ensure that the development of the Silicon Island project complies with the environmental and safety standards of the local community,” he said today, also expressing the state’s appreciation to all parties which had contributed views in drafting this EMP.

In May, Chow announced that Penang would do away with two of three islands of the controversial PSI reclamation project, which meant a scaling down of 49 per cent of the total three man-made islands project.

Island A, now known as Silicon Island, measures about 920ha.

Meanwhile, Chow said, in line with the state government’s commitment to make ex-gratia payments to the fishing community affected by the project after the approval of the EMP, the payment of 75 per cent of the ex-gratia would begin to be credited in phases starting today while the remaining 25 per cent would be completed in early 2024.

“Payments will be made in phases taking into account the scope of the PSI project which has been reduced to an island, compared to the previous initial planning.

“The development of the Silicon Island project is designed based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles. It is expected to become a leading technology centre in the region and open up new job opportunities by injecting lasting economic benefits to the locality.

“To begin with, a total of 600 sea and land-based job opportunities will be offered over the next 18 months. Priority will be given to fishermen and local residents,” he added.

On April 26, Chow announced that Penang had finally obtained the EIA approval for the PSI project, which came with 71 conditions to be fulfilled.

The approval was for the three islands, namely A, B and C.

The controversial reclamation project had undergone a comprehensive process with regards to the EIA report approved on June 25, 2019, but there was an appeal until the decision was overturned.

Several revised reports were subsequently submitted.

PSI involves the development of three artificial islands, with an area of 1,800ha, in the waters off Permatang Damar Laut, near Bayan Lepas.

However, the project received objections from the fishing community and environmental non-governmental organisations in the state because it was alleged that the project would damage the marine ecosystem in the area.

Source: NST Online

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