National oil and gas company Petronas has been warned of more protests and blockades if it starts supplying liquefied natural gas (LNG) to South Korea and Japan from next month.
“This is because the villagers in my constituency of Ba’Kelalan are fearful of their safety as they are residing close to the Sabah-Sarawak interstate gas pipeline,” Ba’Kelalan assemblyperson Baru Bian said in issuing the warning.
“This is more so after an explosion in June last year, in a section between Lawas and Long Sukang,” Baru said at a media conference in Kuching yesterday.
The fiery explosion which was heard some 12km away by the people in Lawas town, blew out that section of the gas pipeline etween Lawas and Long Sukang, causing the temporary shutdown of the RM4 billion-project.
Baru (right), who is Sarawak PKR chief, said there have also been claims that the soil where the explosion occurred was not firm and was still moving.
A full report on the incident was promised to the local people, but was yet to be delivered to them.
An open dialogue with the people in Lawas to discuss the safety issues was also supposed to be held, but it was not.
“We certainly are concerned about our safety, especially the villagers from my village which is 3km away from the project, Baru said, pointing out that some parts of the pipeline were exposed above the ground.
512km pipeline channels gas to Bintulu
Completed in 2014, the 512km long pipeline is to channel raw gas from Kimanis in Sabah to Bintulu in Sarawak.
Bian said that after the explosion, the people had heard of a proposal to realign the route to a safer ground, but that Petronas refused to do so as it would be costly and take up a lot of time.
“Now we hear that Petronas is going to supply the gas to South Korea and Japan, from next month. We want Petronas to confirm it. If it is not true, Petronas should issue a statement refuting this,” he said.
However, if Petronas starts to supply the gas and ignores the concerns of the people, then it should expect more protests and blockades.
“I am supportive of such actions against Petronas,” Baru added.