RM209mil dredging project to deepen Miri Port access channel

KUCHING: The Miri Port is set to spur economic development in Sarawak's northern region with a proposed dredging project to deepen its access channel, says Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

The Deputy Premier said the RM209mil project would improve shipping efficiency and create job opportunities while stimulating the development of related infrastructure and amenities.

"Miri Port will be able to contribute towards the state's economic growth besides offering economic spin-offs to logistics, business distribution, warehouses and so on.

"This project will stimulate more investment for the northern region in Sarawak in line with our aspiration to become a prosperous and developed state," he said at the contract signing for the proposed dredging and associated works at the Batang Baram delta here on Tuesday (June 18).

The project was awarded to a joint venture between Rimbun Prima Sdn Bhd and China Communication Construction Company (CCCC).

It will deepen the access channel at Kuala Baram for Miri Port, while the construction of two 6km training bunds will enable effective flushing of the dredged channel.

"The construction of these bunds in deep water of over 25m will allow Kuala Baram to be a strategic and suitable location to develop a deep sea port.

"I foresee Kuala Baram will be... capable of handling all types of cargo as well as cruise vessels.

"There will be stimulation to other sectors such as shipbuilding and repair, palm oil, oil and gas industries and green energy," Uggah said.

He told reporters that the project would hopefully be completed ahead of its scheduled 33-month duration.

"We hope they will complete it as early as possible, within 24 months. That will augur well for us," he said.

Meanwhile, Miri Port Authority chairman Datuk Paulus Palu Gumbang said the shallow access channel to the port terminal at the Batang Baram delta had caused navigational safety hazards and restricted bigger vessels from calling at the port.

With a deeper access channel, he said Miri Port would be able to realise its designated capacity of handling 3.5 million tonnes of cargo annually.

"This project is crucial as it will improve Miri Port's current capacity and capability to play a lead role as a catalyst for economic activities in Kuala Baram and Miri," he said.

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