JOHOR BARU: Sand dredging activities conducted off Pengerang in Kota Tinggi is for the development of Port of Tanjung Pelepas and Tanjung Bin and not for Singapore’s reclamation project, said Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman.
“Sand that is dredged from the area is for local use and not for export, especially for Singapore’s reclamation purposes,” he said when commenting on news reports that the sand dredging activities of Pengerang, Teluk Ramunia, Penawar and Punggai had resumed after several months of hiatus.
He added that the government’s ban on the export of sand last year was still being imposed.
“Nevertheless, I will get the authorities to check to ensure that those given the sand dredging concession do not violate the law and export the product illegally,” he said.
Residents claimed that six dredgers could be seen carrying out activities daily and the dredgers were used to transport sand for Singapore’s reclamation project.
Speaking to reporters at the Johor Baru Umno division Raya open house yesterday, Ghani said the port area needed reclamation to build a wharf that faced the sea instead of having it built along the river mouth.
He said land was also needed to build an “island” near Tanjung Bin, off Pontian, for the state’s bunkering facility project to serve vessels passing through its waters.
The project, which is expected to complete by 2005, will supply passing vessels with petroleum, water and food, making Johor a “one stop centre” for shipping lines.
“The project, costing some RM7bil, will also include an area for petrochemical plants and a power station which can generate 2,000mw of electricity.
“We decided to build the facility so that vessels calling on Port of Tanjung Pelepas need not go elsewhere to get petrol, water supply or food,” he added.
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