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  13th October 2008 - STAR MARITIME

PTP on track to hit six million boxes

PORT of Tanjung Pelepas Sdn Bhd (PTP), one of two major terminals in Johor, is confident of achieving its volume target of 5.8 million to six million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) this year despite the global economic slowdown.

Chairman Datuk Mohd Sidik Shaik Osman said PTP had already handled about 2.8 million TEUs in the first six months of this year.

Already an established transhipment hub in South-East Asia where it ranks number 17 on the world’s most active ports list, PTP is expected to further enhance its portfolio via import and export boxes.

“The percentage of local cargo for first six months has increased by 90.44% against same period last year,’’ Sidik told StarBiz.

“To enhance our local cargo operations further, we are working closely with some liners to promote the services at the port to local shippers.”

PTP handled 5.5 million TEUs last year.

On the prospect of handling more local cargo, he said, Iskandar Malaysia was poised to grow as investors throng into the area.

“This will contribute to PTP’s local volume throughput,” Sidik said.

PTP is 70%-owned by MMC Corp Bhd and 30% by APM Terminals, which manages about 40 ports worldwide.

Besides PTP, MMC also owns another port in Pasir Gudang €“ Johor Port Bhd €“ in which it holds a 100% stake.

Sidik said although PTP was confident of reaching its targeted growth this year, the slower economy would inevitably affect the port sector.

“Ports, as an important component in the logistics and supply chain, will feel the pinch of sluggish trade,” he said.

Sidik said despite the economic slowdown in the US and the negative impact on global trade following the increase in fuel price, ports in South-East Asia still managed to post growth in throughput volumes for the first six months of this year.

Ports in Asia are probably shielded from the global economic downturn as the trade within Asia was growing faster than that with other regions.

Asia-Pacific accounts for over 50% of Malaysia’s trade compared with less than 20% with the US.

Based on that positive outlook, PTP is not slowing down on its RM3bil expansion plan.

The port is currently constructing berth 11 and 12 that would provide another 720m of wharf space at the south of berth 10, bringing the total length to nearly 4.4km.

“Berth 11 is due for completion in May and berth 12 in September next year,” Sidik said.

He added that the two new berths were designed to carry four of the world’s largest and latest dual-hoist quay-side cranes.

To provide sufficient power to drive all the cranes, PTP recently constructed a larger electrical substation with a capacity of 132 kV.

“The construction of the container yard behind these berths will start after the berths are completed.

“The 32ha yard will provide space for 40,000 TEUs,” he said.

An additional 25 rubber-tyred gantry cranes as well as 60 prime movers and trailers are expected to be acquired to support the operations of the two berths.

The total investment of the two berths and container yard is around RM750mil.

PTP would commence the construction of berths 13 and 14 next year, said Sidik.


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