Malaysia is looking to reclaim land to build a smart city along the southern coast of Penang island.

The city would be built on two man-made islands, 930 hectares and 445 hectares, under the South Reclamation Scheme. It will be located near the island’s international airport, aiming to boost its economy over the next 50 years.

“The islands will have their own self-cleansing system to prevent erosion and siltation,” said Szeto Wai Loong, project director, SRS Consortium, a group of private sector companies studying the feasibility of the reclamation project.

Along with housing areas, the smart city will have a 5km beach, 25km coastal park, 30km waterfront and 283 hectares of green area. A new train system will be built to serve the city.

The city will also create room for the island’s 117 multinational companies and 471 SMEs to expand. “We were told 30% of the companies had wanted to expand but there’s no room for them to grow at the moment,” Szeto said.

The plans are still at an initial stage, and the state government has not approved them yet, said Chow Kon Yeow, Chairman of Penang’s Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee. “Submission of detailed environmental impact assessment will only be done in June next year,” he added.

The project is part of a RM27 billion (US$6.3 billion) infrastructure project called the Penang Transport Master Plan. The government plans to auction the two reclaimed islands to fund the master plan.

SRS Consortium was awarded a tender in August to execute the master plan, which includes projects on trams, monorails, buses, catamarans, highways and expressways to be completed by 2030.