Sabah lacks ship­ping line calls — MD

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - HOME -

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah re­mains unattrac­tive for for­eign in­vest­ment in its eco­nomic and in­dus­trial devel­op­ment be­cause of the high cost of do­ing busi­ness caused mainly by the lack of ship­ping line calls.

Group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Suria Cap­i­tal Hold­ings Ber­had (SCHB) cum Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Sabah Ports Sdn Bhd (SPSB), Ng Kiat Min said how­ever that Sabah has high po­ten­tial of be­com­ing the cargo gate­way for East Malaysia and the larger BIMP-EAGA.

She said that Sabah was well po­si­tioned for regional ship­ping due to its prox­im­ity to North Asian coun­tries and rel­a­tively fo­cal lo­ca­tion among the coun­tries of Brunei, In­done­sia and Philip­pines.

She also said that in re­cent years, SPSB has been pur­su­ing port ex­pan­sion to put ad­e­quate port in­fra­struc­ture and equip­ment in place to sup­port the growth of the State econ­omy.

“From in­cep­tion in 2004 till end of 2017, SPSB would have spent a to­tal RM978 mil­lion, RM553 mil­lion be­ing spent on in­fra­struc­tures and RM424.60 mil­lion on equip­ment,” she said.

She added that all the amounts are funded by SPSB through bor­row­ings and in­ter­nal gen­er­ated funds.

“As a sup­ply driven ini­tia­tive, in Fe­bru­ary 2016, the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has ap­proved an al­lo­ca­tion of RM1.02 bil­lion to de­velop Sa­pan­gar Bay Con­tainer Port (SBCP) into a trans­ship­ment hub, a project ear­marked un­der the 11th Malaysia Plan,” she said.

Ng also said that an in­te­gral por­tion of Sabah Ports Mas­ter Plan was ded­i­cated to­wards de­vel­op­ing port fa­cil­i­ties for the State, plan­ning growth strate­gies and most cru­cial, ad­vo­cate for SBCP as a trans­ship­ment hub.

“In or­der to re­alise Sa­pan­gar Bay’s po­ten­tial, Sabah Ports is look­ing to­wards estab­lish­ing greater con­nec­tiv­ity through in­ter­na­tional Main Line Op­er­a­tors (MLOs), con­tainer con­sol­i­da­tion via hub and spoke sys­tem and de­vel­op­ing lo­gis­tics fa­cil­i­ties for a greater Sa­pan­gar,” she said.

Ng also shared that the devel­op­ment of SBCP was needed to bal­ance the ex­port and im­port ac­tiv­i­ties at the port which cur­rently has high per­cent­age of im­port ac­tiv­i­ties at 80 per­cent com­pared to ex­port.

She said that the pro­posed port mas­ter plan was ex­pected to serve as a blueprint to fur­ther de­velop the sea­port and lo­gis­tics in­dus­try in Sabah for the next 30 years.

At the same time, Ng also said that for Sa­pan­gar Bay Oil Ter­mi­nal which caters for all the bulk oil re­quire­ment for the west coast, they were ready to com­mis­sion a new jetty ex­ten­sion as the ex­ist­ing jetty was near full uti­liza­tion.

“With good lo­ca­tion and ad­e­quate fa­cil­i­ties, Sa­pan­gar Bay Oil Ter­mi­nal has the po­ten­tial to grow as an oil and gas dis­tri­bu­tion hub,” she said.

She also men­tion that at the Sa­pan­gar Bay Oil de­pot, they had nine tanks with the ca­pac­ity of 3,000 met­ric tonnes avail­able for bulk oil stor­age.

She also in­formed that early this year, the Sa­pan­gor Bay Oil Ter­mi­nal has signed a Me­moran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing with KA Pe­tra Sdn Bhd for the leas­ing of the Sa­pan­gar Bay Oil de­pot.

“The fa­cil­ity shall act as a sup­ply hub for diesel and bi­tu­men dis­tri­bu­tion, cater­ing par­tic­u­larly for do­mes­tic con­sump­tion as well as South East Asia de­mands,” she said.

Ng also shared that with the re­lo­ca­tion of the gen­eral cargo to Sa­pan­gar, Sabah Ports plan to cre­ate an in­te­grated link­age of con­tain­ers, liq­uid and gen­eral cargo will fi­nally ma­te­ri­alise.

“The Sa­pan­gar Bay In­te­grated Port will en­cour­age in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion and man­u­fac­tur­ing growth at Sa­pan­gar thus lay­ing the foun­da­tion for free trade zones and other eco­nomic ini­tia­tives to take place in the vicin­ity,” she said.

Ng also said that af­ter the re­lo­ca­tion of the gen­eral cargo port to Sa­pan­gar Bay, in a few years, Suria Group will be un­der­tak­ing the con­struc­tion of a ded­i­cated in­ter­na­tional cruise ter­mi­nal at the Kota Kinabalu Port which will serve as a marine gate­way as well as sec­ond en­try point to Kota Kinabalu.

“Kota Kinabalu Port has been iden­ti­fied as one of the three ports along­side Pe­nang and Klang as hav­ing the po­ten­tial to con­trib­ute sig­nif­i­cantly to the Malaysian cruise in­dus­try. The ded­i­cated cruise ter­mi­nal at KK will com­ple­ment other Suria Group de­vel­op­ments such as Jes­sel­ton Quay and One Jes­sel­ton Wa­ter­front,” she said.

Ng (stand­ing, sec­ond right) and guests at SPSB’s Cus­tomer Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Din­ner.

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