Kong: RM200 billion Carey Island port ‘complements not competes’

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PETALING JAYA: Port Klang Authority (PKA) is determined to proceed with its RM200 billion port industrial city project in Carey Island, calling it a safeguard for the future, Channel News Asia (CNA) reported today.

PKA chairman Kong Cho Ha said the proposed port complex would not be a threat to Singapore nor would it be in conflict with other major port projects coming up in Malacca.

“This is more complementary rather than competition. Singapore is also building a big terminal at Tuas which is 65 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), whereas for Carey Island, we are only talking about developing the port in phases – maybe up to a maximum of 30 million TEUs only,” Kong told the regional news network in an interview that will be aired next Tuesday.

PKA currently operates Port Klang, which is the largest port in the country and the oldest of three major port operations in the same area – the other two being Northport and Westport.

The proposed port would span more than 100 sq km on Carey Island, and will also fall under the free trade zone, and include residential and commercial developments besides other supporting infrastructure.

Kong told CNA that by 2025, all the terminals in Port Klang, including West Port and North Port – would have already reached their capacity.

“Also, the infrastructure – roads and utilities – at these terminals cannot support continual growth. They would not be able to support the increasing vehicle volume that is moving in and out of the port, too,” Kong was quoted as saying.

Last week an industry expert told Singapore’s Straits Times, that there was no need for a new port in Port Klang.

“Creating another port that runs separately (to Port Klang) does not make sense. That is just bringing about excess capacity,” ST quoted G Durairaj, who is managing director of maritime and logistics consultancy PortsWorld.

“However, there is little chance that a new port would draw clients away from Singapore, based on factors such as critical mass and customer loyalty incentives,” Durairaj said.

Kong, who is a former MCA leader and transport minister, also denied a new port in Carey Island will be in direct competition with the RM12.5 billion Kuala Linggi International Port, that is to start construction in a few months, and the upcoming RM43 billion Melaka Gateway, that will include a deep sea port and cruise terminal. Both will cater to shipping plying the same Straits of Malacca route.

“There will be no conflict with the development of these projects, as those ports will serve different functions,” said Kong, who is also the chairman of the Malacca Port Authority.

Port Klang is Malaysia’s largest port and the world’s 12th busiest, according to CNA.

Analyst: No need for RM200 billion Carey Island port