RM43 mil ‘sunken’ Penang marina to be revived

The disused godowns (right) owned by the Penang Port Commission at King Edward Place. On the left is the site of Tanjung City Marina’s berths and pontoons which have either submerged or floated away.

GEORGE TOWN: A RM43 million federal government-funded marina here which was abandoned in 2011 is set to be revived and turned into a world-class boating facility.

This will be made possible through a request for proposal (RFP) to private parties by the Penang Port Commission (PPC).

The Tanjung City Marina, near the ferry terminal here, was touted as an international yacht and boat berthing facility when it opened in 2005.

However, because of design and engineering faults, all the pontoons and berths had either floated away or submerged. The marina was closed in 2011.

PPC chairman Jeffrey Chew Gim Eam said the marina, if revived, has the potential to be one of the world’s best if proper breakwaters are built to withstand waves from ferries plying the channel.

He said while revival of the marina is being mooted, PPC will welcome creative ideas on what can be done on the waterfront as a whole.

Chew said the RFP called for ideas on reviving the marina and development of a plot of land next to it measuring 227,238 sq ft.

Penang Port Commission chairman Jeffrey Chew Gim Eam and general manager Monaliza Suhaimi.

“Ultimately, we want the marina to complement the cruise terminal which would be built next door. We want to unlock the value of the place, which has laid dormant for so long,” he said at his first press conference as PPC chairman.

“They (the structures) have been left for too long, and when you leave something for too long, they start to degrade. They will get too expensive to repair and then the interested parties will slowly move away.”

The deadline for proposals is Dec 11.

Chew said two other plots of PPC land are open for development through RFPs. One is the PPC clubhouse at Anson Road, George Town, and the other is at Chain Ferry Road, Butterworth.

He also said six warehouses built on the coast near King Edward Place in the 1900s will be redeveloped.

“There is a master plan for the warehouses. It will be carried out in line with heritage requirements,” he said.

Chew said the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal extension undertaken by Penang Port Sdn Bhd and Royal Carribean Cruises Limited is also expected to take off at the end of the year.

The berth at the terminal will be expanded from 400m to 660m and there will be an additional berthing dolphin measuring 118m.

When completed, the pier will be able to handle 12,000 passengers at any one time, up from 8,000 at present.