We must cut fuel subsidies

SHAH ALAM: The government has to reduce fuel subsidies to strengthen its finances, Minister of International Trade and Industry (Miti) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said.

Manufacturers are expected to suffer the biggest impact, especially those involved in energy-intensive sectors like steel milling and the manufacture of rubber gloves, ceramics and oleochemicals.

"We are in regular engagement with manufacturers. They have, of course, said they would prefer that natural gas and electricity tariffs do not go up. The government, however, needs to strengthen its own finances," Mustapa said.

"Sectors that are energy intensive are likely to be more impacted then energy-efficient ones. Whatever the natural gas and electricity tariff adjustment, it'll be gradual," he told reporters after the opening ceremony of Sapura Service Centre here yesterday.

The new US$3.5 million (RM10.57 million) investment facility is one of the long-term partnerships between SapuraCrest Petroleum Bhd and GE Oil and Gas, aimed at enhancing support for key oil and gas operators in Malaysia and the region, including Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas).

Sapura Group president Datuk Shahril Shamsuddin said the partnership with GE would enable the services centre to offer an enhanced value proposition to the Malaysian and regional customers in maintaining their oil and gas producing equipment at peak performance level.

"GE's certification gives us a stronger position. We'll see a faster turnaround and cost savings for our customers," he added.

The Sapura Regional Services Centre provides an enhanced range of GE Oil and Gas turbo-machinery related services, including maintenance and repairs. It is designed to enhance the performance of GE's fleet of high-tech heavy duty and aero-derivative gas turbines and compressors installed in Malaysia and the region.

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