Mukah will get a new airport as part of its long-term infrastructure development plan. Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said the federal government had approved the project and given a RM200 million grant to initiate it.

He was speaking before the ground-breaking ceremony for a new state administrative centre here, which would also house the SCORE (Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy) headquarters.

Taib said the airport which would be able to accomodate 737 aircrafts would be built by a Bumiputera building and civil engineering contractor, Juara Cahaya Sdn Bhd.

Meanwhile, he said it would cost RM60 billion in capital investments to bring the necessary infrastructure facilities into SCORE in the next 20 years.

“We can, in turn, attract over RM300 billion in private investments to exploit most of SCORE’s natural resources which otherwise, will not be exploited because of uncoordinated or piecemeal development,” he said.

The chief minister also disclosed plans to build four more new pulp and paper factories in Baram, Balleh, Mukah and possibly in Betong, to utilise resources from its over 100,000 hectares of planted forest.