KOTA TINGGI: MB World Group Bhd (MBWG) sees the multi-billion-ringgit oil and gas project in Pengerang pushing up demand for property in south-east Johor and other parts of the Kota Tinggi district.
Executive director Ng Liang Khiang said the company was banking on the location of its township project Taman Sri Penawar near Desaru coast to attract potential property buyers from Johor and outside the state.
“Many, including domestic and foreign investors, are now looking at south-east Johor as the new growth centre in the state offering good long-term growth prospects,” he told StarBiz.
Ng said prior to 2011, before the launch of the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC), areas in south-east Johor were not on the radar of many developers as demand for houses was not encouraging.
PIPC, located on a 8,093-ha site in Pengerang, is the largest petrochemical complex in Malaysia to date.
The project will house oil refineries, a naphtha cracker and petrochemical plants, as well as a liquefied natural gas import terminal and a regasification plant.
He said many would not even consider buying property in the laidback south-east Johor area, and the only time visitors would come to the area, especially to Sungai Rengit, was to feast on the lobsters and seafood served by seafood restaurants.
“PIPC has changed the image in recent years, with Johor developing and positioning Pengerang as the Rotterdam of Asia,” said Ng.
He said the recent announcement by Saudi Arabian petroleum company Saudi Aramco to invest RM31bil in the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development, or Rapid, project would further boost investor confidence in Pengerang.
“The rental market is good in south-east Johor including in Desaru and we are looking at investors planning to rent out their properties,” said Ng, adding that 40% of its buyers were those planning to rent the properties.
He said phase one of 265 units of single-storey houses was sold out within two weeks and in one month for 161 units of Desaru Avenue – double-storey shop houses were snapped up prior to the launch date.
Ng said the company was hoping to get a similar response for the 161 units of its double-storey houses in the gated and guarded precinct to be launched this weekend.
The development of Taman Sri Penawar on a 190.20-ha site is being undertaken by MBWG subsidiary Cocoa Valley Development Sdn Bhd, with 3,330 residential and 380 commercial units.
“The entire project has an estimated gross development value of RM1.9bil and will keep us busy for about seven years,” he said.