PENANG, JAN 28: Penang’s Chief Minister YAB Lim Guan Eng today officiated the opening of Setia SPICE Aquatic Centre. The momentous occasion was witnessed by the Deputy Chief Minister, Mayor and state EXCO members of Penang together with Setia’s top management team.
“Five years ago, S P Setia undertook a public-private partnership (PPP) project with the Penang Municipal Council (now known as the Penang Island City Council) to revamp the Penang Indoor Sports Arena or better known as PISA and its aquatic centre. In addition to that, Setia is to add three more components to the project which are, a convention centre, a hotel and retail outlets. In return, S P Setia was granted a 30-year concession by the council to manage and operate the place which is now known as the Subterranean Penang International Convention and Exhibition Centre (SPICE) upon its completion,” said Dato’ Khor Chap Jen.
Setia SPICE Aquatic Centre, which had its soft opening in December 2015, features sports facilities such as an Olympic-sized swimming pool and diving pool, a children’s water theme park, badminton courts, squash courts, function rooms, cafes, a sports clinic as well as a swimming school. In the near future, the centre will also see the addition of a gymnasium.
Known for being an eco-developer, S P Setia has always place high regards towards sustainability. The facilities at Setia SPICE Aquatic Centre are powered by solar energy. A RM4 million solar photovoltaic system which can generate up to 980 megawatt hour (MWh) SPICE Canopy. It is the biggest commercial solar PV farm in Penang and will help to supplement SPICE’s electricity consumption.
Another component of Setia SPICE, Setia SPICE Canopy consisting of 59 retail and F&B outlets with a total lettable floor area of 98,000 square feet also opened its door to the public in December 2015.
The third component is Setia SPICE Arena, formerly known as the Penang Indoor Stadium and Arena (PISA). It is an exhibition centre as well as an indoor stadium. Completed refurbishment and rectification works here include roof replacement, facelift works, façade lighting, air conditioning upgrading work, chiller installation, security surveillance system and renovation & external painting works.
Completed in September 2013, Setia SPICE Arena has a maximum capacity of 10,000 people. As for the convention centre, it will be able to host large-scale events of up to 400 banquet tables and will boast a sprawling 6-acre green rooftop where the public can jog, walk and exercise once opened. It is targeted to be operational by March 2017.
“As Penang flourishes into an international business hub, there is a need for convention centres of this scale to cater for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) activities of larger scale which the former PISA building was not able to provide. With its strategic location situated within close proximity of the Penang International Airport and surrounded by major roads with easy accessibility to the first Penang Bridge and the second bridge, the refurbishment and enhancement of PISA that was just a sports centre which now includes retail, F&B, hotel and a MICE centre, has increased the service offerings and value tremendously,” Dato’ Khor added.
A 25-storey, 453-room business class hotel is the final component of the Setia SPICE.
Construction of the hotel will commence upon approvals from the respective authority and it is targeted to open in 2019.