Penang South Island project expected to kickstart in 2H22

The project will likely complete by 2030 and the state govt is submitting a new EIA report for the project 


THE Penang South Island (PSI) project, formerly known as the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project, is expected to start at the beginning of the second half of 2022 (2H22) and is expected to complete by 2030. 

Penang Chief Minister (CM) Chow Kon Yeow (picture) said the state government needs to submit a new environmental impact assessment (EIA) report for the project. 

“The three proposed islands were previously not indicated in their state structure plan so they had to submit a judicial review. 

“The second action that we have taken is to resubmit our EIA because we are looking at a different scheduling of the island reclamation work to be done. 

“The technical engagement with all the technical agencies has just been completed and we have submitted a fresh EIA to the Department of Environment for consideration,” he said during a press conference after the Penang 2030 briefing yesterday. 

The Penang state government plans to make the first island in the project a high-technology investment site which is strategically located nearby Bayan Lepas airport and transport infrastructure. 

“This would take probably several years seven to eight years to complete the first island, maybe six years at least, so we are looking at maybe 2030 is a very good year for the completion of many infrastructure projects in Penang,” the CM explained. 

Last month, Chow mentioned that they would proceed with their very own light rail transit (LRT) system through public-private partnership and other private financing initiatives if they have not received approval. 

The federal government promised to fund RM2 billion for the project in November last year. 

The Penang LRT line stretches as long as 19km from Bayan Lepas and comprises of 30 stations. The project itself is supposed to cost RM8.5 billion. 

“Under the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), we find that we do face a lot of challenges because it is tied to the financing model of the reclamation of the three islands. Nevertheless, we will be looking at unbundling the LRT project,” he said.

They are calling out for a request for proposal soon from private, local or foreign sectors.

“We have also received another proposal to implement our Automated Guideway Transit project across the channel from Butterworth to Penang Island under the PTMP. “We are looking at how we could put it on the market for interested investors to pick up some of this project individually or collectively as a package.”

When asked about whether electric vehicle (EV) charging stations would roll out in Penang, Chow, unfortunately, said there are not many EVs in Penang. 

However, they are willing to collaborate with any private sector that wants to roll out their facilities on the island. 

As for solar panel installation, the state government is willing to cooperate with the federal government as they have already come up with guidelines on solar farms in Penang that do not require conversion of land use for solar pumps to be implemented. 

Part of the Penang 2030 plan, it involves adopting a low-carbon city framework in transport and mobility by 2030. 

“We will be at the same time implementing several projects under the PTMP and hopefully within the next few years, we will be able to upgrade our road infrastructure,” Chow added. 

Through this plan, he hopes Penang would recover from the Covid-19 pandemic with a GDP of 5.4% by 2025.