Malaysian Ports Eye Expansion

Malaysian Ports Eye Expansion

Malaysia’s Kuantan Port is expected to start laying foundations for a major expansion next year.

Port operator IJM Corporation is aiming to begin construction in the first quarter of 2014, with the two-year build projected to double capacity to over 52 million tons.

IJM is undertaking the expansion in partnership with China’s Guangxi Beibu Gulf International Port Group, which has agreed to purchase a 40 percent stake in IJM. The final design is due to be confirmed in October, but the partners have committed to offering at least 16 meters draft alongside the new facility’s berths to help support trade to and from the adjacent Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park.

Expansion is also on the table at Malaysia’s major gateway near the capital, Kuala Lumpur. Port Klang Authority has hinted it may build a third major container port later this decade as demand rises.

At present container traffic at Klang is handled at Westport and Northport, both of which also have their own expansion ambitions. Northport will increase capacity by purchasing larger container-handling equipment, while Westports Malaysia, the operator of Westport, aims to raise funds for new developments through a proposed initial public offering that it hopes to complete later this year.