Kuantan's Asian transhipment aspirations
Kuantan Port Consortium (KPC) is building its New Deep Water Terminal (NDWT) which it says will become a major transhipment hub on the east coast of Malaysia for trade in and out of Asia.
KPC told Port Strategy that the new terminal should leverage the port's location closest in the Malaysia peninsula to China and the Far East.
Haji Khasbullah A Kadir, chief operating officer at KPC, told PS: “At the moment the port is secondary to west coast ports such as Port Klang, but the new terminal will see us becoming a primary transhipment hub for trade in and out of Asia and will also allow us to break into the commercial goods market.”
The NDWT, a private public partnership project between the Government of Malaysia and Kuantan Port Consortium was approved in June 2015. The Government is responsible for building the 4.63 km breakwater which is now 3.6 km completed, while KPC is responsible for dredging, reclamation and construction of the berth and terminal facilities.
The reclamation works are now 75% completed, while the berth is 10% completed with piling works in progress for Phase 1, involving 1 km berth with 16 m water depth.
Phase 1A involving 400 m of the 1 km berth and related backup facilities will commence operation in late 2017 in line with KPC’s first/anchor customer, Alliance Steel (M), which has its steel mill in the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park, about 10 km from the port.
Although the port is currently reaching capacity, the new terminal should solve the problem because it will double capacity at the port from 26m tonnes per year up to 52m. Importantly, the new terminal will initially be able to handle 12,000 teu container vessels. The current port capacity is only 3,000 teu.
The ultimate capacity of the port with 18 m water depth should cater for larger bulk vessels up to 200,000 dwt, compared with the current capacity of 45,000 dwt bulk carriers and 18,000 teu container vessels.
Meanwhile, the new terminal will be nearly fully automated, with a conveyor system to handle raw materials, speeding up both productivity and efficiency.
It will also be equipped with state of the art new technology and equipment, main electrically powered.
In addition, the port has achieved free zone approval from the government meaning that it will be able to take advantage of businesses setting up shop at the port, what Dato Khasbullah calls a “strong marketing tool” to attract more carriers.
KPC is currently at the stage of awarding the tender for the acquisition of equipment for the new terminal. It‘s also trying to attract a new shipping partner.
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