Penang World City Subject to EIA

The recently unveiled ‘Penang World City’ planned on reclaimed land south of the Penang Bridge with an estimated gross development value of RM10 billion is subject to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

In asserting this, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng also clarified that the beach along the land will come under the state while the project site is taken over by developer Ivory Properties Group Bhd.

Low (2nd, right) exchanges signed documents for the sale and development of the Bayan Mutiara land with Rosli. Looking on (from left) are PDC deputy general manager Datuk Abdul Rahim Isahak, Lim and Nazir.

Lim, who officiated at the signing ceremony for the purchase and development of the land between the Penang government and Ivory last Friday, was responding to a question on public concerns following a spate of reclamation projects in the state.

“The EIA must be complied with, there will be no exemption,” he said, commenting on reports that the hydroflow in the seas around Penang may be affected by the reclamations.

He also said that the units on the reclaimed land will be offered on freehold terms, but the beach along the land will be maintained under the state.

The development is to be undertaken in a joint venture between Ivory and Dijaya Corporation Bhd.

The two public listed companies formed Tropicana Ivory Sdn Bhd (TISB), with Ivory (through wholly-owned subsidiary Ivory Utilities Sdn Bhd) taking a 51% stake and Dijaya (through wholly-owned Tropicana Development (Penang) Sdn Bhd) holding the remaining 49%, for this project.

The project covers a land size of 41.5ha, of which 27.3ha is existing reclaimed land and 14.2ha has yet to be reclaimed. The cost for the remaining reclamation will be borne fully by Ivory.

The new project is planned to include luxury condominiums, medium-rise condominiums, business suites, services residences, iconic office block, waterfront entertainment hub, commercial and retail spaces, waterfront villas and medical facilities.

The agreement was signed by PDC general manager Datuk Rosli Jaffar, Penang State Economic Planning Unit deputy director (macro) Hafidzah Hassan who represented CMI, and Ivory chairman and Group CEO Datuk Low Eng Hock

Also present was Ivory deputy chairman and executive director Datuk Seri Nazir Ariff.

The land known as Bayan Mutiara had been earmarked by the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) state government for a “Mini Putrajaya” government administrative centre, but plans for these were deferred.

The Pakatan Rakyat state government, through its Chief Minister of Penang Incorporated (CMI), then last year entrusted the PDC to spearhead a new development project there.

PDC arranged an open tender through a Request for Proposal (RFP) exercise which ended on Dec 31, 2010. Three companies were short-listed.

Ivory was eventually awarded the tender with a price offering to pay RM240 per sq ft over five years to the state.

Lim said that the sale of land will enable the Penang government to generate revenue of approximately RM1.07 billion.

He stressed that contribution from the proceeds would be channelled towards the setting up of a RM500 million ‘Affordable Quality Homes Fund’ in the state.

“Among others, one of the locations identified for affordable quality housing is in Batu Kawan where 200 acres (81ha) has been earmarked to build about 15,000 units with prices ranging between RM 72,000 and RM 220,000,” he said. – The Sun Daily

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