OM Sarawak sees lower output

KUCHING: OM Materials (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd (OM Sarawak) expects production volumes of ferrosilicon (FeSi) at its smelting plant in Samalaju Industrial Park, Bintulu to drop further after recording a 16% decline in output in the April-June 2020 quarter (2Q20).

Production volume of FeSi was down to 44,200 tonnes in 2Q20 from 52,308 tonnes in 1Q20.

“The decrease in FeSi production volume was the result of placing an additional FeSi furnace on maintenance during the quarter due to limited manpower at the plant, ” said OM Holdings Ltd (OMH), which owns a 75% stake in OM Sarawak.

Its joint-venture partner Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd (CMS) holds the remaining 25% equity interest in OM Sarawak, a pioneer energy-intensive industry in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score).

OMH said the plant had been operating on limited manpower due to strict travel restrictions imposed by the Malaysian government as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.

“About 100 technical employees associated with the plant remain stranded in China since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The lack of skilled manpower has adversely impacted the plant’s ability to operate near full capacity, and the further recruitment of foreign skilled and semi-skilled manpower is not feasible as the authorities have forbidden the hiring of new foreign workers in all sectors until the end of 2020, ” added OMH in the latest update on OM Sarawak’s operation to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Taking these factors into consideration, OMH said the company had decided to temporarily idle an additional ferrosilicon furnace, placing it on maintenance, and will also extend monthly maintenance periods for all other furnaces.

As a result, it said lower production volumes of ferroalloys are expected in the coming months.

The plant consists of eight main workshops with a total of 16 units of 25.5 MVA furnaces, of which 10 units are allocated for the production of FeSi and six units for the production of manganese alloy.

The plant’s manufacturing facilities have a design capacity to produce 200,000 to 210,000 tonnes of FeSi and 250,000 to 300,000 tonnes of manganese alloy per annum.

The plant has been operating at full capacity prior to the disruption to operation because of the pandemic. In 2Q20,13 out of the 16 furnaces were in operation, with seven furnaces producing FeSi and six furnaces producing manganese alloy.

In 2Q20, OM Sarawak increased the manganese alloy production volume by 12% to 57,692 tonnes from 51,723 tonnes in 1Q20.

OMH said in 2Q20, OM Sarawak recorded a 37% and 19% drop in the sales volume of FeSi and manganese alloy respectively due to weaker global market demand as a result of slower than expected recovery of steel demand as well as the downturn in global economic activities from the pandemic.

According to OMH, world crude steel production during April and May 2020 was 285.2 million tonnes, representing a 10.8% decrease compared to the same corresponding period in 2019.

“The company continues to adhere to local and global safety guidelines to minimise the risk of infection and transmission of Covid-19. This includes the implementation of social distancing arrangements and voluntary temperature monitoring across all operations, keeping the health safety and well-being of all employees and third parties a key priority.

Source : The Star

Interns learning the ropes in RECODA!

KUCHING: It opens up a whole new world for them. What they learnt in school or university is nothing but just theories.
Since joining Regional Corridor Development Authority (RECODA) early this year under the Graduate Enhancement Training Sarawak (GETS) programme, the seven interns have got the first taste of what it’s like to be in the working world.
Applying what they have learnt in university sometimes may not do the tricks but that to them, is what it is, as life takes them to another stage.
“It is challenging and I am enjoying my internship now.
“What I studied in the books are just theories.
“In real life, things can be so much different when it comes to work
“But I am glad I have great mentors and seniors who are always helpful,” said Azizah Qistina Halpi who is attached with the Project Management Department where she is involved with planning and coordination works.
Azizah who graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Administrative Science from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in Samarahan is currently doing a part time Master’s degree in the same field of study at the same university.
GETS is a 12-month employability enhancement programme offered by the state government working with partners from the industry.
During the training, interns will be paid training allowance of RM1,000 for degree holders or RM800 for diploma holders.
Rudolph Bandok, who is tasked with pre-contract and post contract works at Project Management Department said he had the opportunity to learn what contract management is all about.
“I have also learnt what it takes to coordinate with various consultants who are involved with infrastructure projects under RECODA.
“I have also involved in the tender process and that really is an eye opener to me,” said Rudolph who graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Swinburne University of Technology (Sarawak Campus).
Three other interns- Eva Thassia ak. Aldrin, Nurhazlina bt. Hamdan and Catherina ak. Kala are attached to Northern Region Development Agency (NRDA), Highland Development Agency (HDA) and Upper Rajang Development Agency (URDA) respectively.
The three lasses, all graduates from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) are grateful that they can learn more about the infrastructure projects under the agencies during the one-year stint.
“We are proud to be part of this project although we are just interns.
“If not because of our internship, we would not have known that there are so many infrastructure projects that are being kicked off to bring development to the people, especially in rural areas,” they said.
Concurring with their colleagues, Awang Adli Awang Omar and Garry Jikim who are attached with Marketing and Communications Department and Project Management Department respectively said both of them have so much to learn.
“We are enjoying every bit of our time in RECODA,” the duo said.

DCM: Sundar to be Attractive Tourist Destination

LAWAS: Sundar is set to be a beautiful garden town with Tacoma flowering trees dotting the landscape and the upcoming waterfront adding to its beauty, making it an attractive tourist destination.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan on a working visit to Sundar last weekend said Tacoma trees, the local version of Sakura flowering trees which is the rage in Japan, grow well in the town.

“We plan to have ‘Sakura’ landscape here and this would blend in nicely with the infrastructure development that includes the waterfront, new Sundar sub-district office and public park,” he said.

He made the remarks at the end of his field visit to check on progress of projects under Northern Region Development Agency (NRDA) and various government departments in this sub-district.

Awang Tengah, who is also Second Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources, said Sundar Town development was planned to encompass social, economic and community development.

Sundar Waterfront project is nearing completion of its second phase of construction and the third is already at planning stage while construction of the jetty costing RM1.5 million is 75 per cent completed.

NRDA has also rolled out the first phase of Sundar Recreational Park costing RM10 million which would include jogging and bicycle tracks, administrative building and other facilities.

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Industry Terminal and Entrepreneur Development is also building Anjung Usahawan Sundar to provide lock-up shops, stalls and amenities for locals to ply their trade.

NRDA is also undertaking rehabilitation projects for SMK Sundar (RM3.7 million), SK Luagan Sundar (RM5 million), SK Sundar, SK Aru Sundar and SK Awat-Awat which mainly involve infrastructure upgrading and flood mitigation.

Accompanying the deputy chief minister during the projects inspection were Limbang Resident Ir Ahmad Denney Ahmad Fauzi, NRDA regional director Datu Ubaidillah Abdul Latip and Limbang Divisional Land and Survey Department superintendent Awang Nazri Awang Saperi.

Source : Borneo Post Online

Briefing to Deputy Chief Minister

Briefing to Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan on the proposed Sundar Recreational Park in Trusan, Lawas this morning. Construction of this project at an estimated cost of RM10mil is expected to kickstart in September this year and take 24 months to complete. The project is one of the 165 projects under Northern Region Development Agency (NRDA). #recoda #score #nrda

Engaging Dialogue Session Hosted by RECODA

KUCHING: It was a very engaging session for the business community this morning as RECODA played host to a dialogue session with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy), Mustapa Mohamed at a leading hotel here.

More than 70 people, representing the business committee here turned up for the session which lasted for almost two hours.

During the session, various issues concerning economy were raised by those present.

Mustapa who took note on all the issues raised briefed everyone on the various economic stimulus efforts taken by the government to address the nation’s economy following the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also praised the Sarawak government for its various initiatives in providing financial assistance such as Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS).

He said the economy had slowly picked up as most sectors in the industry had started operation last month following the Movement Control Order (MCO).

Present at the dialogue session were RECODA Chief Executive Officer, Datu Haji Ismawi bin Haji Ismuni who moderated the dialogue and president of Sarawak Business Federation, Datuk Abang Karim Tun Openg.

Slew of construction activities at HDA area

MIRI: With 12 road projects currently under construction stage, people in Miri, Marudi, Telang Usan and Beluru districts will soon enjoy better roads once these projects are completed in the next two years.
Construction of these road projects which started only this year have so far seen positive progress despite a few months’ delay due to Movement Control Order (MCO) where most of the sites are seeing site clearing, earthworks and drainage works taking place.
Among these projects are improvement of existing access road to Daleh Long Peluta, Long Miri and Uma Bawang, improvement and construction of roads within Long Lama and Long Bedian, improvement of access road from main logging road to Long Semiang and improvement of existing road from Long Banga Junction to Pa Dalih.
Other than these 12 projects, eight other road projects are still at design stage while another seven are at tender stage.
Meanwhile, feasibility studies are being carried out for 20 water supply projects. As for the power supply, one project is still at design stage while another one project at tender stage.
All these projects with a cost of RM1.5bil are under the purview of Highland Development Agency (HDA) and once completed, it will ease the connectivity and bring economic activities to the area.
HDA area covers an approximately 18,463 km² with an estimated population of 100,000.