Posted on March 27, 2023
The government must have considered the development of Carey Island port as an attractive venture to pursue and may have readily-available investors, according to Thought Partners Group Consulting group managing partner Abi Sofian.
He opined that if the government decides to proceed with the work, then they must have considered it to be “attractive” endeavour and probably has readily-available investors.
“They have a clear plan of what the port should look like and it would be a good return,” he told SunBiz.
On the announcement by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on the port development on Carey Island during the recent Budget 2023 tabling, Abi said that he knew it was only a matter time before the project was prioritised since feasibility studies and discussions were done years prior.
Abi who was Northport (M) Bhd’s former CEO, left the company in 2016, said that he was part of the discussions on identifying possible locations for a third terminal for Port Klang, which was conceived around 2009-2010.
“As the container business grew, there was a need for Port Klang to improve or to increase its capacity,” he shared.
Back then, he shared that during the time the idea was developed, it was to support the capacity for Port Klang as a cargo port.
Meanwhile, during the recently held Invest Malaysia Kuala Lumpur 2023 Series, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said that the proposed third port, Carey Island port, is not in direct competition with the existing terminals of Westports and Northport.
He said that the Port Klang Authority has being doing feasibility study on the third port since 2019, following Cabinet approval and that the study has shown that it is viable and feasible to have a third port on the island.
“Whether or not the third port will give direct competition to the existing ports, whether or not should we just focus on existing ports, I think its not mutually exclusive, we can do both,” he said.
He reiterated that the government will continue with the Westports Phase 2 expansion, despite having announced its plans for Carey Island and explained that the latter is “a long-term project” that will span 30 years.
Loke said that the first phase of the third port is focused on conventional cargo, including dry bulk as well as liquid bulk terminals, and is “not focused too much on container port”.
He said it is not in direct competition with Westports and Northport expansion. In terms of capacity, Northport is limited, due to the size of the port. Hence, the only possible expansion that could be identified is on Westports Phase 2.
“Based on our studies, even with Westports Phase 2 fully operational with 27 million TEU, we would probably reach that capacity in the late 2030’s. So, when the Carey Island port comes into the picture in the 2030’s or 2040’s, its nice in terms of providing more capacity,” he said.