PORT KLANG: The Port Klang Authority (PKA) will be deepening its South Channel entrance at Pintu Gedong here from its current depth of 16.5m to 18m.
This is to cater to the entry of ultra-large container ships (ULCS) with more than 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and to meet the demand from the shipping lines to ensure 24/7 access into the port.
General manager Datuk Capt David Padman said the announcement was made after a recent board decision, and that internal funds would be used to carry out the capital dredging project.
“The dredging project will be undertaken by Integrated Marine Works Sdn Bhd, the Government-appointed concessionaire company for dredging works in the major federal ports,” he said in a statement.
“The project, which will take 10 months, is expected to be completed by April 2015, with an environmental assessment to be carried out prior to the its commencement in accordance to conditions imposed by the Department of Environment,” he added.
Padman said several main line operators (MLOs) such as CMA CGM, China Shipping Container Line and UASC had notified PKA that they would be introducing vessels exceeding the current 18,000 TEU capacity by year-end.
“These vessels will require an operating depth of around 17m or more to safely berth at any port. Currently, it has been reported that only the ports of Tanjung Pelepas in Johor and Rotterdam are able to cater to these ULCS on a 24/7 basis.
“With the planned capital dredging of the South Channel, Port Klang will have an edge over its competitors and will be able to join this league,” he added.