MALACCA: A new seaport at Melaka Gateway will complement Port Klang and Tanjung Pelepas harbours, says Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
The Transport Minister said his ministry supported the unveiling of another port along the Straits Of Malacca to cater for the growing maritime industry.
“The new port’s limitation has been widened to the shoreline and bordering southern Johor, and will also provide maritime facilities to vessels plying the straits.
“The facilities at this port will have various features such as repair, dry bulk terminal, ship building, as well as marine engineering and manufacturing that gives a cushion effect to the other two existing ports,” he said after witnessing the foundation laying ceremony of Melaka Gateway Port yesterday.
Also present were Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron, China ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang and Power Construction Corporation of China (Powerchina International) vice-president Wang Bin.
Liow said some 100,000 vessels plied the straits every year, of which 70% to 80% were shipping liners from China.
“So the port has significant potential for growth as it is strategically located along the East-West maritime international shipping route,” he said.
Liow added that the Melaka Gateway Port would capture a substantial portion of cargo vessels plying the straits, propelling the local maritime industry and the nation’s economy to greater heights.
“The new port will be able to lure more vessels to our shores,” he said.
Dr Huang agreed, saying that China’s investment in the Asean region would go up from the current US$500bil (RM2tril) to US$1tril (RM4tril) in the next five years.
“We need more seaports to support China’s expansion into the Asean region,” he said.
Earlier, Idris commended Liow for keeping to his promise to construct a new harbour for Malacca.
“Today, we are proud that this project will transform Malacca’s economic status and spur rapid growth,” he said.
The port is being developed by KAJ Development Sdn Bhd (KAJD) and its partner Powerchina International by partnering with Yantian Port Group from Shenzen, Guangdong and Rizhao Port Group Co. Ltd, Shangdong, China.
On Sept 1, KAJD and Powerchina International signed a partnership agreement for a RM30bil deal for investment, development and construction at three islands in Melaka Gateway.
Located at the tiny island of Pulau Panjang, about four nautical miles from the coast of Pulau Melaka here, the port inherits naturally deep waterway of 25m to 30m, which is suitable for a seaport facility.
The project will have three phases, covering a reclaimed area spanning 272.8ha and a bridge, which will link to the Melaka Gateway. Construction is expected to be completed in 2019.