PETALING JAYA: Benalec Holdings Bhd will start work on its 3,485 acre Tanjung Piai Integrated Petroleum & Petrochemical Hub and Maritime Industrial Park next month, with the approval of its detailed environment impact assessment (DEIA) study by the Department of Environment (DOE). In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, the group said the study submitted jointly by Spektrum Kukuh Sdn Bhd (a 70% subsidiary) and Perbadanan Setiausaha Kerajaan Johor, was officially approved by the DOE on Jan 23, 2015. The DEIA study pertains to the reclamation works for Tanjung Piai Integrated Petroleum & Petrochemical Hub and Maritime Industrial Park project which comprises a man-made island to be sited off the south-western coast of Johor. The DOE's long awaited approval extends beyond land reclamation works to cover the construction of oil terminal, construction of jetty, bridge linking the island to the mainland and dredging works. The DEIA approval is valid for 2 years from the date of the letter. In a separate statement to the press, Benalec said the key feature of the island is its natural water depth of more than 25 metre, enabling a short jetty to be constructed for the berthing of Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) vessels; this water depth is also beneficial to Benalec because the cost of any capital and periodic maintenance dredging works is expected to be minimal. The statement said a further advantage is that the proposed site of the island is naturally sheltered, with excellent anchorage area and is in close proximity to the Jurong Island Petroleum & Petrochemical Hub, thereby affording an attractive and sizeable alternative site to existing and future operators seeking expansion in the oil & gas sector within the region. Benalec said the board and management are confident in maintaining a very positive outlook for the group in the years to come as the time-frame for the development and completion for the Tanjung Piai project is between 10 to 15 years; however, if the demand for land on the island warrants it, Benalec has the capacity to fast-track the reclamation process, thereby shortening the time-frame. The group said the move takes it one significant step closer to the realization of its business plans, in sync with the country's avowed objective of establishing itself as a storage and trading hub in the Asia Pacific region. As such, the project is expected to be a catalyst in stimulating strong growth and investment opportunities, as well as affording Benalec the springboard for generating recurring income streams.