PETALING JAYA: Labuan will stand to gain tremendously with the largest ship-to-ship (STS) transfer hub in Asia, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
The Transport Minister said the facility would benefit not only industry players but also the community and the island as a whole.
“Together with Straits Energy Resources Bhd (Straits) chairman Tengku Baharuddin Ibni Almarhum Sultan Mahmud and the Labuan Port Authority (LPA) chairman Datuk P. Kamalanathan, I witnessed the signing ceremony of the Heads of Agreement (HOA) between Victoria STS (Labuan) Sdn Bhd with Fendercare Marine Asia Pacific Pte Ltd at Grand Dorsett Hotel Labuan.
“The HOA was signed by Victoria STS managing director Benjamin Bernard and Fendercare Marine regional manager William Barker.
“Straits, a group listed on Bursa Malaysia through its unit Victoria STS (Labuan), has entered into a HOA with Fendercare Marine, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange, through its parent James Fisher.
“This HOA aims to establish collaboration between both parties in STS services,” he said in a Facebook post yesterday.
On July 12 last year, Straits obtained permission from the Malaysian Marine Department to develop the largest hub in Asia at Victoria Bay Port Limit, Labuan.
The minister congratulated Straits under the leadership of Tengku Baharuddin and Fendercare Marine on the joint venture.
“I am confident both parties will ensure Asia’s largest STS hub can benefit the people and the country,” he said.
In a separate post, Dr Wee said he had visited the proposed site in Rancha-Rancha industrial area.
“Dermaga Merdeka port can no longer cope with future needs. A meeting was held and LPA has proposed the construction of Rancha- Rancha harbour via a ‘request for proposal’,” he said.
On another matter, Dr Wee said certified instructors would be arranged to conduct Goods Driving Licence (GDL) courses to benefit the people of Labuan.
The move came following a meeting with Labuan communities, including leaders of Labuan Federal Territories Residential Representatives Council on Thursday night.
“I listened to their views and suggestions. Among the problems raised were difficulties in obtaining GDL for Labuan residents and attending courses in Kota Kinabalu.
“Previously, there were qualified instructors to deliver GDL lectures for six hours before candidates took the test,” he said.
Dr Wee said he contacted Road Transport Department director-general Datuk Zailani Hashim to find an immediate solution.
“Apart from that, some representatives asked the Transport Ministry to study methods to encourage ships to enter Labuan Port and facilitate logistics and procurement of essential goods.
“I then shared the efforts of the ministry in creating more employment and business opportunities for the people,” he said.