Shell, UNIMAS ink MoU for research and talent dev’t

KUCHING: Shell Malaysia, through Shell MDS Sdn Bhd (SMDS) yesterday strengthened its partnership with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for research and talent development.

The MoU will see UNIMAS conducting a product research for the use of SMDS-produced SARAWAX in 3D printing as well as lightweight concrete. SARAWAX is a specialty wax developed by SMDS in Bintulu, sold both locally and internationally, and is widely used in industrial, commercial and consumer applications.

The MoU will also focus on the development of up-skilling of undergraduates through programmes such as internship and pre-employment preparations.

Witnessing the MoU signing ceremony was State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Haji Abdul Ghani, who is also a member of UNIMAS’ Board of Directors in his office at Wisma Bapa Malaysia.

Signing on behalf of UNIMAS was its Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato’ Dr Mohamad Kadim bin Suaidi and Dean of the Faculty of Resource Science and Technology, Associate Professor Dr Othman bin Bojo, while Tom Wong, General Manager of SMDS Sdn Bhd, and Johnathan Jolly, Senior Manager of Government Relations, Shell Malaysia, signed on behalf of Shell.

Also present were UNIMAS Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Professor Mohd Fadzil Abdul Rahman and Professor Dr Kopli Bujang and Managing Director of Shell Malaysia, Liang Kok Siang.

In his welcoming speech, Professor Dato’ Dr Mohamad Kadim bin Suaidi described the signing of the MoU between UNIMAS and Shell MDS Sdn Bhd was a very significant event.

“This is a significant collaboration and we are focusing on engagement with the industry.

“UNIMAS needs industrial partners and what we are doing at the university is very relevant to the needs of the industry and also the community.

“This collaboration with Shell is something we are looking forward to. We hope to come up with some good research proposals.

“We are also looking at ways to add value to what we are doing and to bring Shell to train our graduates. We are look at the internship opportunities for our students because UNIMAS is one of the few universities in the country which has built industry attachment,” he said, adding that partnership with the industries is very important to UNIMAS.

Liang in his speech said that this year Shell in Malaysia is celebrating its 125th anniversary and the signing marked another milestone in Shell Malaysia’s journey by collaborating with UNIMAS.

“We started our collaboration with UNIMAS in the 90s with Sarawak Shell Berhad and also with Shell MDS on a bio sludge study and for the last eight years we have engaged some 70 to100 students annually at our event call PRESTIGE (Practical Environment, Safety & Industrial Guidance for Engineers) where we shared our Health Safety, Security and Environment practices to final year engineering students.

“PRESTIGE is our way of promoting safety among the younger generation. Today, we are taking the journey with UNIMAS further. For the record, Shell Malaysia also has a Chair at UNIMAS where Sarawak Shell Berhad had contributed RM2 million,” he said, adding that UNIMAS’s most recent study for Shell Malaysia, other than the Dolphin Research Project in cooperation with Sarawak Forestry was the ecological study for the establishment of Piasau Nature Reserve in Miri.

“Shell Malaysia through Shell MDS continues to expand over the years in the state and the most recent example is the expansion of the Solid Wax Plant in late 2011 in support of the government’s economic transformation journey.

“Our investment in Shell MDS and its expansion is testimony of our confidence in the state,” he said.

Liang also disclosed that the total cumulative investment in Shell MDS, which is the first petro chemical plant in Bintulu is about USD1.3 billion and annually it produced about 500 tonnes of a unique range of high quality Gas-to-Liquid products namely waxes, drilling base fluids, chemicals, gasoil and kerosene which are marketed in more than 50 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Congratulating both UNIMAS and Shell, Morshidi said what was more important was that both parties have their own strengths to develop the oil and gas industry in Sarawak.

“Despite the current low oil prices it shows that both parties want to make Sarawak another state with a strong oil and gas industry.

“Shell is the giant in the oil and gas industry while UNIMAS is a premier public university and both are ready to conduct research. I hope this will be the beginning of more things to come to Sarawak.

“The state is now moving in an aggressive way and as the Chief Minister has always said, we don’t want to be just bystanders in the oil and gas industry.

“Sarawak’s industrialisation will keep growing and in fact we have so much resources, so much power and as such opportunities are there,” he said.

  • Professor Dato’ Dr Mohamad Kadim (4th left) exchanging the MoU documents with General Manager of Shell MDS Sdn Bhd, Tom Wong (3rd right), witnessed by Tan Sri Datuk Amar Haji Mohamad Morshidi Ghani (centre), Liang Kok Siang (4th right) and others.