On the 21st May 2007, Sapangar Bay Container Port (SBCP) was graced with the visit of the federal Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy.
Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy was briefed by Suria Capital Holdings Berhad’ Group Managing Director, Datuk Hj. Abu Bakar Hj. Abas on the current progress of the states newly built container port. It was announced that SBCP was ready for operation on 1st June 2007 and shifting of the containerization activity from KK port to Sapangar would commence on the mentioned date.
Among the issues that were highlighted in the briefing was the impressive development of the ports in Sabah, in particular Kota Kinabalu port, which had grown in terms of container throughput.
An increase of almost 8.5% was recorded in KK Port from a total of 141 969 teus (in 2005) to 153 793 teus (in 2006) and for the first quarter of 2007, a growth of 20% container throughput was achieved.
In addition, the container rate productivity had significantly increased to 18 boxes an hour and is expected to reach 20 – 22 boxes per hour upon the operation of SBCP. Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy hailed these improvements as phenomenal and cited the crucial role of crane productivity in terms of faster turnaround time which will attract vessels to SBCP.
Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy had also mentioned on the need of the ports in East Malaysia to grow and take advantage of the opportunities in the Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP EAGA) and for East Malaysian ports to complement each other in this respect.
Among the officials that were in attendance was Sabah’s Deputy Chief Minister cum Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister, Datuk Edward Khoo, Sabah Ports Authority (SPA) Chairman, Datuk Dr Zaki Gusmiah and SPSB Board of Directors and officials.