PUTRAJAYA, 16th JULY 2013 : The East Coast Economic Region (ECER) will witness the development of a RM120 million sturgeon farm in Pahang which will create a huge economic impact for 1,300 FELDA settlers and their families.
With a market price of between USD3,000 (RM9,000) and USD5,000 (RM15,000) per kilogramme, the project is expected to generate a monthly income of around RM10,000 for the participating FELDA settlers, with a payback period of seven years.
The project will be implemented under a joint venture between FELDA Investment Corporation (FIC) and MMC Hassed Co. Ltd. of South Korea, with an initial investment of RM120 million. The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) and the Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp) will act as FELDA’s strategic collaborative partners in this project.
Jerantut and Jengka have been identified as among the potential locations for the sturgeon farming project. At full production capacity, the farm can produce up to 30 metric tonnes of caviar per year with a potential revenue of nearly RM100 million.
The 20-acres sturgeon farming complex will also house an exhibition area, aquariums and an R&D centre which is poised to be a tourism attraction in ECER. Construction of the sturgeon farming complex will commence in 2014 and it is expected to be ready between 18-24 months.
“The sturgeon farm concept will also be expanded to the surrounding FELDA settlers to create a Regional Sturgeon Aquafarm,” said Prime Minister, YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak after witnessing the MOU exchange ceremony between FELDA and MMC Hassed at his office in Putrajaya today.
At the same event, Dato’ Sri Najib also witnessed the exchange of Strategic Collaboration Partnership document between FELDA, BiotechCorp and ECERDC.
The strategic partnership is for the implementation of several high impact projects in ECER. Among the identified projects are in the areas of Commercial Sturgeon Farming, Biomass Development, Oil Palm-based Downstream Industries Development, and Botanical Drug Industry Development.
Exchanging the document on behalf of ECERDC was its Chief Executive Officer, YBhg. Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John, while FELDA was represented by its Director-General, YBhg. Dato’ Faizoull Ahmad. BiotechCorp was represented by its Chief Executive Officer, YBhg. Dato’ Dr. Mohd Nazlee Kamal.
The document exchange was followed by the exchange of MOU’s between ECERDC and investors in ECER involving a total investment of nearly RM750 million.
Details of the investors are as listed below:
Dato’ Sri Najib said ECER has attracted RM49 billion worth of investments since 2007 to date, which have created close to 40,000 jobs for the rakyat. In comparison, the amount of investments as of end-December 2012 stood at RM37 billion, with 30,000 jobs created.
During the first half of this year alone, ECER has already attracted some RM23.64 billion worth of investments, surpassing ECERDC’s 2013 investment target of RM15 billion.
The state of Pahang attracted the largest investment amount to date, with RM23.31 billion in investments recorded from 2007 until the end of June this year which have created some 24,000 jobs.
This is followed by Terengganu with RM18.62 billion in investments (10,850 jobs), Kelantan with RM5.79 billion (4,580 jobs) and the district of Mersing in Johor with RM1.61 billion of investments (208 jobs).
“This year marks the fifth year of ECERDC’s establishment and I am very pleased with the Council’s achievement to-date in implementing the development programmes and projects in ECER as well as in attracting investments into the Region,” Dato’ Sri Najib said.
He acknowledged the importance of providing an efficient transportation network and quality infrastructure within ECER, such as the East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) and the Central Spine Road projects, in enhancing the Region’s competitiveness as an ideal investment destination.
Under the 9th Malaysia Plan and 10th Malaysia Plan, a total of 111 projects have already been approved by the Federal Government for implementation in ECER, at a total cost of RM6.6 billion.
Among the critical projects that have already been identified by ECERDC for 2013 are the Kuantan Port Expansion, Kertih Biopolymer Park, Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP), and Kuala Terengganu City Centre (KTCC), among others.
Kuantan Port Expansion will see the port being transformed into a deepwater port. Construction of the port’s breakwater has already commenced this year and it is expected to be ready by 2015. The concessionaire agreement for Kuantan Port is also expected to be signed this year.
The MCKIP project, which is expected to further strengthen Malaysia-China economic and trade relationship, will be fast-tracked to ensure its successful implementation, Dato’ Sri Najib said. The industrial park has already attracted RM10.5 billion in committed investments, that are expected to create some 8,500 job opportunities.
Other key projects that are being implemented on an ongoing basis include empower ECER and ECER Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EEDP). empower ECER, for instance, has already benefitted over 19,000 ECER locals comprising 11,426 students and 7,611 adults, who are now enjoying better academic achievements and higher monthly income as a direct result of the training provided under this programme.
Between 2010 and 2013, the Federal Government has also allocated nearly RM200 million to implement 448 projects in the former areas of Pahang Tenggara Development Authority (DARA) and Lembaga Kemajuan Wilayah Jengka (LKWJ) under the Special Fund initiative which have benefitted some 494,000 local residents.
The projects include infrastructure and socioeconomic projects such as maintenance and construction of roads, drainage systems, community halls, prayer halls (surau) and playgrounds, among others.