Liow denies Carey Island port project shelved

Liow-Tiong-Lai-carey-island-1PETALING JAYA: Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai today refuted reports that the RM140 billion Carey Island port project had been shelved, saying it had always been part of the government’s plans to expand Port Klang.

In a report by The Star, Liow said Port Klang could only handle 30 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) with Northport and Westport.

He said the Carey Island project would add another 30 million TEUs in container throughput.

“Those who spread lies and fake news might have an ulterior motive,” he was quoted as saying.

Last Friday, Singapore daily The Straits Times said the project had been shelved due to the fall in cargo volume at Port Klang as global shipping alliances shifted their operations to the island republic.

It said MMC Corp and the government were hesitant to pour money into what might become a white elephant, and that the government was presently satisfied with allowing the expansion of Westports.

It had been announced earlier that MMC, led by Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, would partner India’s Adani Ports and government-controlled Sime Darby for the project.

“With the government giving Klang rival Westports approval to double its capacity, the push for a third port in Klang is on the backburner,” a source was quoted as saying.

MMC, which owns Northport, did not respond to a request for comment by the daily.

However, its managing director Che Khalib Mohamad Noh said in May that physical work on Carey Island’s 10,000-hectare development would likely commence in 2020, despite earlier reports that it would begin by the end of this year.