Marine Engineering Industry
Sarawak’s strategic location and key skills offer investors real competitive advantages.
Sarawak faces out onto the South China Sea, the world’s busiest international trade route, used by more than half the world’s merchant fleet and supertankers.
This strategic position at the heart of Asia makes it an ideal location for the development of marine engineering, shipbuilding and repair work, offshore fabrications and the servicing of support vessels.
Sarawak’s marine industries are rooted in a long and proud boatbuilding tradition, especially in the central region. The significant segments in modern times are shipbuilding and boatbuilding, including repair and maintenance, and marine engineering contracting for the oil and gas sector. The expansion of specialist supply base facilities at Bintulu has been a key factor in this sector’s recent development.
Regional and local demand for all kinds of shipbuilding and marine engineering services is forecast to grow strongly over the long term.
The overall industry outlook is positive, reflecting continued increases in shipping traffic and offshore oil and gas activity. More specifically, several companies now based in Singapore are known to be actively seeking alternative locations for marine engineering and contracting work.
Investors – aware of Sarawak’s strategic location, close to both shipping lanes and offshore oil and gas fields – are showing strong interest in the potential of Bintulu, Tanjung Manis and Samalaju.
As part of the Malaysian Shipbuilding/Ship Repair Industry Strategic Plan 2020 (SBSR 2020), valuable tax and investment incentives have been made available to attract overseas investors.
The SCORE strategy for the marine industries involves giving priority to the development of Bintulu as a second major supply base and the establishment of marine engineering and boatbuilding facilities at Tanjung Manis, while the plan for Samalaju revolves round attracting a single large-scale heavy marine engineering contractor as the key investor.
The marine engineering industry has the potential to create 5,000 jobs in the SCORE region by 2030 and add USD170 million to Malaysia’s GDP.
Tanjung Manis is expected to emerge as the focal point of a thriving marine cluster development as specialised facilities are developed to build and maintain advanced, high-tech vessels for both deep sea and river transport.