Malaysia Unveils $22 Billion of Energy, Property, Health-care Investments

Malaysia unveiled 67 billion ringgit ($22 billion) of private-sector investments spanning energy, property and health, including oil and gas projects by Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

Exxon Mobil will jointly invest more than 10 billion ringgit in a production-sharing project with Petronas Carigali Sdn., the exploration arm of state oil and gas company Petroliam Nasional Bhd., Prime Minister Najib Razak told reporters outside Kuala Lumpur today. Shell’s Malaysian unit will spend another 5.1 billion ringgit on three projects, he said.

“The feel-good factor for investing in Malaysia is returning,” International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed said. “We have set a target for investments in 2011 amounting to 83 billion ringgit and we’re confident of achieving it.”

Last September, the government outlined $444 billion of potential private company-led projects this decade as part of a so-called economic transformation program. These ranged from nuclear energy to mass rail, and included the oil and gas industry. Najib gave details of 19 of these today.

Exxon Mobil and Petronas Carigali plan to drill existing fields in the Tapis and Telok projects to find new reserves, Najib said.

“Investment in these projects will help develop and deliver energy supplies to meet Malaysia’s growing energy needs,” the prime minister said.

Tax Incentives

The government announced tax incentives in November to encourage companies to explore less-profitable fields in a bid to extend the size and life of the country’s petroleum reserves. Malaysia, Southeast Asia’s second-largest oil and gas producer, has domestic crude oil reserves to last 24 years and natural gas for 38 years, the finance ministry said Oct. 15.

Shell plans a deepwater development off Malaysia’s eastern Sabah state, as well as a diesel-processing unit in Port Dickson, Najib said. The company will also upgrade and expand its Bintulu plant in Borneo, he said.

“Malaysia is one of our heartlands,” Shell Malaysia Chairman Mohd. Anuar Taib said at the event in Putrajaya today. “In the upstream, new reserves and production are getting harder to come by.”

Selangor-based Dialog Group Bhd. will lead a consortium investing 5 billion ringgit in a deepwater petroleum terminal at Pengerang, in Malaysia’s southern Johor state, Najib said, confirming an earlier announcement. The facility will have storage capacity of 5 million cubic meters and is being developed in partnership with the Johor state government and Royal Vopak NV, he said.

‘Tremendous Opportunities’

“There are tremendous spinoff opportunities from the Pengerang project and it will eventually attract adjacent investments worth tens of billions of ringgit from other companies,” Ngau Boon Keat, Dialog’s chairman, told reporters.

In the property sector, Guocoland (Malaysia) Bhd., the property arm of Hong Leong Group, will invest 1.9 billion ringgit in a mixed development in Kuala Lumpur, Najib said. The project will include offices, retail, a hotel and apartments, he said in a statement.

UM Holdings Bhd., a unit of Universiti Malaya, will invest 1.2 billion ringgit in a healthcare development in Selangor, outside Kuala Lumpur, the statement shows. MyTelehaus Sdn., CSF Group and Teliti International will invest a combined 671 million ringgit in data centers, according to the statement.

To contact the reporters on this story: Manirajan Ramasamy in Kuala Lumpur at rmanirajan@bloomberg.net; Barry Porter in Kuala Lumpur at bporter10@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net.

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