The Straits Trading Company Limited has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Straits Trading unit MSC Properties Sdn Bhd to jointly explore ways to develop land in Butterworth, Penang that is owned by both parties.
MSC Properties is a subsidiary of Malaysia Smelting Corporation Berhad (MSC), which is 54.8 per cent owned by Straits Trading.
MSC currently has a tin smelting plant located on the land in Butterworth, which spans 13.9 acres. Straits Trading also owns neighbouring land in Butterworth totalling 26.2 acres. In total, the land amounts to 40.1 acres.
MSC is in the process of relocating its smelting operations from Butterworth to a new state-of-the-art plant in Pulau Indah, Klang. It expects full migration of smelting activities to the new plant to be completed by 2020.
The land in Butterworth is situated in a prime location that is 5 to 10 minutes' drive to the upcoming Penang Sentral, a multi-billion ringgit integrated transportation hub connecting the railway, ferry and bus services in the entire State of Penang, said Straits Trading and MSC in a joint media statement.
The land also lies directly opposite Penang Island, providing a panoramic view of Penang Island, they said.
Patrick Yong, chief executive officer of MSC, said: "From a predominantly industrial area, Butterworth is evolving into an attractive location for residential and commercial developments, considering the spillover development on Penang Island into the mainland.
"Furthermore, the Penang Transport Masterplan is expected to significantly enhance the transportation infrastructure in Penang, improving the connectivity of people and businesses between Penang Island and the mainland. This will encourage more Penang residents to live and work on the mainland."
Chew Gek Khim, executive chairman of Straits Trading and chairman of MSC, said that both parties are open to options which may include working with joint venture partners, developing the land on their own, or selling the land.
"With the land being freehold, we believe it will appeal to a wide range of investors and property developers," said Ms Chew.