IJM Corporation Bhd, the operator of Kuantan Port, will invest about RM2 billion to build a new deep water terminal for the berthing of vessels of up to 200,000 deadweight tonnage.
IJM Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Datuk Teh Kean Ming said construction of the new terminal is expected to commence in the first quarter of next year, with a 24-month completion period.
Once ready, he said the new terminal will double the size of the multipurpose port, in terms of capacity to handle 52 million freight tonnes of cargo, from the current 26 million.
“We are currently looking at the final design plan. Once our Chinese partner, Guangxi Beibu Gulf International Port Group Co Ltd, come on board in October this year, we can decide on further specifications.
“The proceeds from IJM’s 40 per cent stake disposal in Kuantan Port to Guangxi, will be used to fund the construction, together with a portion of internal funding,” Teh told Bernama.
The IJM-Guangxi sale and purchase deal of about US$102 million (about RM323.08 million), is expected to be finalised within the next three months.
Teh said the new terminal will be constructed with a water depth of 16 metres, with plans in place to dredge the waters to two more metres, in the second phase of development.
“We will construct the terminal under the first phase. The construction works will be mainly undertaken by IJM, as we have the expertise,” he added.
The expansion of Kuantan Port is part of the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP), in which Guangxi will invest more than RM7 billion directly or via joint ventures with Malaysian companies.
Kuantan Port is situated about 25 kilometres to the north of Kuantan city and faces the South China Sea on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Previously run by the Kuantan Port Authority, it was privatised in 1998, and is now operated by Kuantan Port Consortium Sdn Bhd.BERNAMA