KUCHING, Nov 21 — Petros Niaga Sdn Bhd, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros), will be the sole distributor of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in Sarawak from December 1.
The announcement was made by state Minister of Utilities and Telecommunications Datuk Seri Julaihi Narawi in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly today.
He said the state government has decided not to renew the LPG distribution licence of another company, which expires at the end of this month.
“With the non-renewal of the distribution of gas licence, Petros Niaga will control 100 per cent of the LPG market from December 1,” he said when winding the debate on the Distribution of Gas (Amendment) Bill 2023.
He said that previously, Petros Niaga controlled 68 per cent of the LPG market in Sarawak and “another company” — which he did not name — controlled 32 per cent. Julaihi said the amendment Bill seeks to empower the state government to appoint Petros as a gas aggregator.
He added that the state-owned oil company has the requisite experience and knowledge in gas distribution.
He said Petros is already a licenced distributor of LPG in Sarawak and will be appointed as the sole distributor for LPG effective December 1.
“My ministry will ensure that all persons undertaking activities listed under Section 7 of the Distribution of Gas Ordinance, 2016, must obtain licences from the Director of Gas Distribution.
“All persons issued with licences under Section 7 of the Ordinance for the distribution, supply and sale of gas in Sarawak shall sell and deliver their gas to Petros, to enable it to procure sufficient gas for distribution and supply to consumers, including LNG plants at a reasonable price,” Julaihi said.
He added that the appointment of the gas aggregator would not in any way prejudice or adversely affect the existing arrangements entered into by upstream gas producers.
He gave an assurance that the Sarawak government will continue to support their upstream operations which are critical for sustainability of gas supply.
He said the principal functions of the gas aggregator are to manage the procurement of natural gas from all sources for distribution and supply to any person, plant, facility and premises in Sarawak; to develop, expand, manage and maintain gas distribution network and systems including but not limited to pipelines, terminals for receiving gas, processing plants and storage facilities.
He said the other functions of a gas aggregator will be to carry out such other functions related to the distribution of gas in Sarawak as the state Cabinet may direct in writing.
Julaihi said to enhance the enforcement provided under the Ordinance, this Bill also introduces provisions to remand those who are arrested under the Ordinance and seizure of property when offenders cannot be found as well as handling seized items.
“This Bill will also introduce a new provision to remand those arrested if investigation cannot be completed within 24 hours,” he said.
He added that where the offender is unknown or cannot be found, a new provision for seizure of property and procedures in handling seized items is added.
He said if there is no prosecution with regard to anything or property seized under this Ordinance, such thing or property shall be taken and deemed to be forfeited at the expiry of one calendar month from the date of seizure, unless the owner claims such thing or property before the expiry date.