By RAHIMI YUNUS
THE Penang Port Commission and Penang Port Sdn Bhd recently launched the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (SPCT) Upgrading Project at the Waving Gallery, SPCT.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow launched the event which was also attended by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook. Also present were Penang Port Commission Chairman Jeffrey Chew Gim Eam; Penang Port Commission GM Monaliza Suhaimi; Penang Port Sdn Bhd Chairman Datuk Syed Mohamad Syed Murtaza; MMC Group MD Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh and Penang Port Sdn Bhd CEO Sasedharan Vasudevan.
On Sept 6, 2018, Penang Port Sdn Bhd and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCL) had signed a joint venture agreement to upgrade the SPCT. This project encompasses the extension of existing wharf to the North by 220 meters. This extension enables two of the world’s largest Oasis-Class ships to berth at any one time. One Oasis-Class ship can accommodate around 6,700 guests in total.
This upgrading project will also involve the restructuring of the current terminal to increase the efficiency of passenger handling, the redevelopment of the old godowns for commercial activities and Ground Transport Area (GTA).
The entire project will take between 24 and 36 months to complete after which, SPCT could accommodate 12,000 passengers as compared to the current 8,000 passengers.
The location of SPCT in the city itself and in the heritage enclave were the main attractions for tourists to Penang and has the potential to be the main destination of cruise lines in Asia.