JOHOR BARU: JOHOR is not entitled to any oil royalty from the RM60 billion Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated and Development (Rapid) because the oil extracted is not the state's natural resources, Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said yesterday.
He was replying to a question by Ja'affar Hashim (BN-Senggarang) on whether Johoreans would get any benefits in the form of royalty or commission from Rapid.
The state government's stand meant that Petronas Rapid would be unlike other Petronas hubs in the country, especially in terms of oil royalty.
When the Kerteh oil rig in Terengganu was incorporated in 1974, Petronas signed a profit-sharing deal with the then Barisan Nasional-led Terengganu state government to share five per cent in royalty for fossil fuel that were discovered within the state's territories and sold by Petronas.
It was previously reported that Terengganu's oil royalty amounted to nearly RM1 billion a year. Ghani said although there would not be any royalty payments, the impact of the massive development would be felt nationwide.
"There will be 8,500 jobs for professionals and 40,000 jobs for semi-skilled workers when the project is completed in four years."
He added that works on Rapid would begin as early as next month and the first phase was expected to be ready by the fourth quarter of next year.
"Training will also be provided. For locals who want to remain as fishermen, courses will be provided so that they can venture into offshore fishing activities.
"An allocation of RM80 million has been set aside for this training centre for fishermen."
Ghani said Pengerang, being a tourist destination, would see the construction of four hotels.
He also gave an assurance that Rapid would not create any environmental issues in Iskandar Malaysia.
Citing Singapore as an example, he said there was a petrochemical hub in the middle of the republic, but there were no environmental hazards.