Work on Malacca port starts in 2017


New O&G centre: Noormustafa posing with a scale model of the port servicing the oil and gas industry. The project is expected to generate demand for port services.

T.A.G Marine with Chinese investors will build the RM12.5bil hub

SHAH ALAM: Construction of the RM12.5bil Kuala Linggi International Port (KLIP) in Malacca will begin in the first quarter of next year.

T.A.G Marine Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Wira Noormustafa Kamal Yahya hoped the port servicing the oil and gas industry would attract more investors. T.A.G Marine owns the project.

Noormustafa would finance the development of the port with investors from China. However, he declined to delve into the shareholding structure.

He said KLIP would bring back Malacca’s glory days, when it was a regional trading hub in the 15th century.

“Kuala Linggi is blessed with natural depth at 30m and is very conducive for servicing large tankers.

“There will be no need for maintenance dredging and it is also suitable for shipbuilding and repairing.

“My company has been servicing large ships for the past 10 years handling palm oil, crude oil, liquefied natural petroleum, liquefied natural gas (LNG) among others. We are also the first in the region to handle LNG transfer from ship to ship.

“The RM12.5bil KLIP is the extension of it in a bigger scale,” he said.

Noormustafa, a seasoned mariner, said Kuala Linggi is strategically located and KLIP would ease the traffic at one of the busiest and important waterways in the region.

“This chokepoint that sees about 100,000 of large tankers and other types of ships plying through annually is prone to accidents and ships are wary of the close quarter situation in this area.

“The Transport Ministry has gazetted KLIP not only as a industrial port and a bunkering hub, but also a port of refuge to aid casualty and vessel in distress,” he said.

Besides being the project’s owner, T.A.G Marine also have to look for investors.

Noormustafa said investors must have synergies with the KLIP business model, adding that many foreigners had expressed interest in the project.

“I don’t want the investors to come in and dictate. I am sure of what I’m doing and I will do it according to my own style. At the moment, the ground-breaking is set to be in the first quarter of 2017 and it will take about 10 years to complete,” he said.

KLIP, which garnered a lot of media attention at its launching, will be developed on a 620-acre reclaimed land to offer storage, repair and bunkering services. In Singapore, ships could waste a lot of time just waiting to deliver, take on goods, refuel or undergo maintenance work.

The project, the latest in a string of developments to capture Asia’s rising oil demand and the waterways along the Strait of Malacca and the Strait of Singapore, is expected to generate huge demand for port services.

It was reported that traffic sailing through the straits, valued at US$600bil in annual oil trade – makes up a third of global oil demand.

Noormustafa pointed out that KLIP development would complement Singapore instead of being a competitor to it.

“The pie is big enough and it all boils down to branding the area as a shipping hub, where the east meets west.

“For me, I am thrilled to do this for the country that will provide 6,000 job opportunities,” he said, adding that T.A.G Marine’s sister company, Linggi Base Sdn Bhd will be the master developer of KLIP.

Malacca governor Tun Dr Mohd Khalil Yaakob and Second International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan launched the KLIP earlier this month.

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