The port will also be integrated into the MCKIP and GIP ecosystems
by AZREEN HANI / graphic by MZUKRI MOHAMAD
KUANTAN Port’s expansion in Gebeng is expected to raise the port’s handling capacity from about 27 million in 2020 to 50 million tonnes.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said under its Phase 3 expansion, which is under reclamation process for a new breakwater and terminal, the port should be increased to between 70 million and 90 million tonnes yearly capacity.
“The operator Kuantan Port Consortium Sdn Bhd and the Kuantan Port Authority are both working in concert to ensure the port will be integrated into the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP) and Gebeng Industrial Park (GIP) ecosystems.
“I am also glad to know that a special development zone is also being prepared for expansion,” Wee said in a statement after his working visit to Kuantan Port yesterday.
“All this is needed to allow the port to meet the future needs of industrial players like Alliance Steel Sdn Bhd, MCKIP’s largest investor.
“Furthermore, as the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) route is planned for completion in 2026, it is vital for the state and federal governments to ensure the port is ready for this land-bridge between the west and east coast,” he added.
According to Wee, MCKIP and GIP as part of the entire infrastructure has pulled in foreign domestic investment such as Maxtrek Tyres that could potentially add 14,000 extra twenty-foot equivalent unit containers from 2024.
“Bosai Minerals Group Co Ltd is also expected to invest RM10.6 billion into a Coke-Electricity-Aluminium and Ferroalloy industrial project. Alliance Steel has already brought in RM5.84 billion worth of investments in the area.”
During the visit, Wee also launched the Kuantan Port Green Policy, an effort by Kuantan Port Consortium towards environmental sustainability and will serve to guide its port development and operations for 2021-2030.
Under this green policy, digitalisation and energy efficiency are key strategies in line with the government’s National Transport Policy to maintain the ecosystem affected by the port and reduce carbon emissions by 30%.
This, Wee said, will entail technology investments such as hybrid rubber tyred gantries, reducing vehicle traffic, using more renewable energy like solar power, and installing more automation in the terminals within the port.
“We expect that in time to come, Kuantan Port will be a major component of Peninsula Malaysia’s east coast long term logistic and transport infrastructure underpinned and served by the 665km ECRL from Kota Baru in Kelantan to Port Klang in Selangor,” he added.
He further said that the spur line route from the ECRL into Kuantan Port through MCKIP should be finalised in the next few months.
This will be a catalyst for Pahang’s economic development by attracting more investments and providing enhanced connection to Klang Valley and Port Klang.
In a separate statement, Kuantan Port said it has recorded a decrease of 16.2% in cargo handling last year compared to 2020.
In 2021, the cargo handling for the port stood at 22.9 million tonnes compared to 27.3 million tonnes in 2020.
Currently, it has reached 50% capacity and this figure is expected to remain increasing by 2027.
“New infrastructure at New Deep Water Terminal opens up opportunities to Kuantan Port to serve the larger industry and to further develop dry bulk cargo handling, container and bulk cargo handling,” it said,
The establishment of the Kuantan Port Free Commercial Zone also further diversified services at Kuantan Port to facilitate value-added services.