The Penang state government has set an ambitious target to reclaim approximately 400 acres (161.87 hectares) of land each year for the Silicon Island project, with plans to commence construction on the first factory as early as 2026. Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow announced this significant development during his visit to the Penang South Island (PSI) on Sunday.
Reclamation work for the Silicon Island project commenced in early October, with a five-acre (2.02-hectare) area already reclaimed using two boats, each capable of transporting 7,000 cubic meters of sand. To expedite progress, the government plans to escalate dredging operations in the coming year by introducing two additional boats, each with a large capacity of 20,000 cubic meters.
Chow emphasized that these measures are aimed at accelerating the project’s timeline. The state government anticipates that the land component of the Silicon Island project will be ready within the next eight to ten years, enabling the commencement of infrastructure construction.
A key infrastructure priority is the construction of a temporary bridge to connect the southern part of the Penang International Airport to the island. This bridge will facilitate access to the construction site, which is currently accessible only by boat.
Chow expressed confidence that the Silicon Island project could replicate the remarkable success achieved by the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone (FIZ), which has been instrumental in Penang’s economic growth for over five decades.
The Bayan Lepas FIZ has established itself as a significant contributor to the global electrical and electronic (E&E) products market. Chow stressed the importance of Silicon Island in expanding industrial land in Bayan Lepas, ultimately enhancing the growth and competitiveness of Penang’s leading E&E manufacturing sector.
Silicon Island’s comprehensive development plan includes the establishment of a high-technology industrial park known as Green Tech Park (GTP), a global business services and software hub (GBS Campus), commercial developments, housing, and green recreational areas. The project is expected to generate substantial economic benefits, including a gross domestic product (GDP) of RM1.1 trillion, attracting investments totaling RM74.7 billion, and creating approximately 220,000 employment opportunities.
Reclamation efforts for the 2,300-acre Silicon Island, located in the southern region of Penang, are projected to conclude by 2032. The overall development of the island is anticipated to span approximately 25 years.
During the visit to the reclamation site, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow was accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister 1 Datuk Dr. Mohamad Abdul Hamid and state executive councilors, as well as Penang Governor Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak, underlining the significance of the Silicon Island project for the state’s future.