EA TECHNIQUE (M) Sdn Bhd has secured a RM260mil contract to build, operate and charter out six units of Z-Peller harbour tugboats to Northport (Malaysia) Bhd over a period of 10 years.
The contract makes EA Technique the first local supplier of such vessels to Northport.
“We are proud that a local company has emerged as the best bidder from both local and international suppliers through our open tender. We are confident of the capabilities and services offered by our local companies,” said Northport chief executive officer Abi Sofian Abdul Hamid at the signing ceremony for the deal between the two parties last Thursday.
EA Technique will make the first delivery of two tugboats by the first quarter of next year and expects to finish all six vessels in the next 18 months.
The tugboats will be of two different capacities: three units with 40 tonne bollard pull capacity and three units with 50 tonnes.
The tugboats are being chartered in line with Northport’s expansion plan to enhance capacity. This will involve significant redevelopment and restructuring of the infrastructure as well as major upgrading of equipment and facilities.
According to Datuk Abdul Hak Md Amin, managing director of EA Technique, Northport is the fifth port to use the company’s tugboats after Kerteh Port Sdn Bhd, Kerteh Refinery Sdn Bhd, Sungai Udang Port Sdn Bhd and Petronas Lekas LNG Terminal.
“The total combined tugboat fleet for all these ports stands at 21 units and propels EA Technique into the position of being the biggest operator of harbour tugboats in Malaysia. We aim to become the biggest player in the region soon,” Abdul Hak said.
Abdul Hak added that EA Technique currently holds about 50% market share for tugboats in Malaysia.
The tugboats segment now contributes about 40% to EA Technique’s annual revenue of about RM120mil.
EA Technique has commissioned its subsidiary Johor Shipyard and Engineering Sdn Bhd to construct the new vessels, which are estimated to cost RM102mil, for Northport.
Abi Sofian noted that Northport had been chartering tugboats from foreign suppliers previously, but is keen to look further into increasing local participation in the maritime industry.
“Northport works with a lot of international parties. And we need to see if we have the local expertise that can meet the requirements of international standards.
“But we are certainly looking to develop more local talent and partnerships in response to the government’s call to increase bumiputera participation in the industry. It is also a good way for local suppliers to build their skills and capacity,” he said.
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