By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By TMR
The Port Klang Authority (PKA) plans to embark on a comprehensive feasibility study for the proposed Carey Island Port development as the authority hopes to shape a competitive and future-proof seaport.
Its GM Capt K Subramaniam said the PKA is expected to announce the tender for consultants to participate in the study, which is likely to take place in January next year.
“We are identifying those who are qualified for us to know how many we are looking at. Currently, there are between 25 and 30 consultants approved by the Ministry of Finance (MoF).
“After the tendering process, we have about a month or so before we select the successful consultant,” he told The Malaysian Reserve recently.
Subramaniam said the port authority will not single out international firms in the bidding process, although having a local consultant would allow for better control.
“We are not cutting anyone out as we are open to those who are qualified, both local and international bidders. However, appointing an international consultant will require an additional process of getting approval from the MoF.
“We prefer to take a leading company from Malaysia. That would be ideal for us because we would have better control and continuity,” he said, adding that the cost of the study will be according to the appointed consultation.
In August, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said the PKA will be conducting a feasibility study on the proposed development of the third port in Klang.
He also said the government had decided for the study to be fully managed and borne by the port authority, and later to be supported by the concession companies in the event the development of the port is taking place.
The third port project in Klang was first mooted by the previous administration in January 2017. It could cater up to an annual capacity of 30 million twenty-foot equivalent units.
The project, to be located about 50km from the two existing ports in Klang, is estimated to cost RM140 billion and expected to be completed in the span of 20 years.
Meanwhile, Subramaniam said the halted East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project has minimal impact on cargo traffic between the East and West Coast as road cargo transportation is still able to support the movement.
“If there is a delay on the ECRL, I do not think it will affect much the hinterland cargo to Port Klang, as we are still efficiently moving them by road and short sea shipping.
“At the moment, we are able to serve the cargoes that are coming from Kuantan by road,” he said.
He explained that easing the cargo movement between the Port Klang and Kuantan Port is a secondary objective for the multibillion project as developing the areas along the route was the prime agenda.
“The primary idea for ECRL was to develop new key areas for cargo productivity along the route that they were planning, especially from Gombak to Tumpat, which have not been fully developed.
“It was for those areas to develop into new manufacturing and industrial areas so that they are able to generate cargo and other activities.”
The ECRL project, one of the main components in the Belt and Road Initiative, comprises a rail line that connects four states — Selangor, Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan.
In July, the China Communications and Constructions Co (CCCC), the main ECRL contractor, was notified by Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd of the suspension of the project.
The decision to halt the project came after the MoF’s disclosure of the project’s final cost, which had ballooned to RM81 billion.
The project was first approved by the government on Oct 21, 2016, while the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning agreement was signed with CCCC on Nov 1, 2016.