Terminal operator Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) plans to boost productivity this year, newly appointed chairman Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said yesterday.
Although shipping companies and ports were hit hard by the global economic downturn, Penang Port’s volume rose 3 per cent in 2009.
In a statement issued yesterday, Dr Hilmi said in 2009, Penang Port handled a total of 958,476 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) compared with 929,639 TEUs in 2008.
“Our main priorities now are to continually improve our productivity, provide a range of diverse supporting port services and monitor our expansion plans in great detail”, he said.
PPSB has embarked on several key projects.
“The first phase in the expansion of dedicated container terminal will include a new 600m wharf extension to the existing 900 metre wharf, with new decking area for export container. A third access bridge is under construction. Simultaneously, for the second part of this project, a new back decking area will be built parallel to the existing 900m wharf.”
Construction for this project is 65 per cent done and four months ahead of schedule.
To complement the expansion, Penang Port has taken delivery of seven Post-Panamax cranes, each costing RM25 million.
While four of the cranes were delivered in November 2009, Dr Hilmi said the remainder arrived last month.
“A Post-Panamax crane,” Dr Hilmi noted, “can reach 16 rows of containers on board the ship. The new cranes with its twin-lift capabilities will speed up handling operations as it can pick up two containers at a time.
“With these new projects, productivity at the port will be enhanced with a new target of crane productivity at more than 25 TEUs moves per hour.”