SHAH ALAM: The expansion of Kuala Linggi International Port (KLIP) in Melaka is well on track, with the first reclamation contract expected to be awarded as early as the first week of October.
TAG Marine Sdn Bhd executive chairman Tan Sri Dr Noormustafa Kamal Yahya said the company had shortlisted five international companies for the project.
“We have received encouraging responses from bidders comprising international companies from China, the Netherlands, Belgium and Japan,” Noormustafa said.
TAG Marine is the port operator of KLIP while Linggi Base Sdn Bhd is the developer for the KLIP expansion known as Linggi Base.
He also holds a BSc Nautical Studies (UK) and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Transport.
An experienced former seafarer, his career at sea started when he was selected as the first batch of LNG apprentice at Akademi Laut Malaysia for MISC Bhd’s first LNG carrier project in 1980.
In an interview with the New Straits Times recently, Noormustafa spoke passionately about the KLIP expansion.
“This is going to be the first contract that we are going to award after we have conducted almost 15 impact studies and received the necessary approval for the construction of the port from the government.
“We are on track to develop KLIP and realise its opportunity of being strategically positioned between two of the largest container port in Malaysia – Port Klang and Port Tanjung Pelepas,” he said.
KLIP, with a gross development value estimated at RM100 billion, is located along the waterway of the Straits of Malacca, connecting on the east with the Indian Ocean and on the west.
The expansion is also expected to greatly contribute towards relieving pressure on the Straits of Malacca which sees nearly 100,000 vessels passing through this busy waterway annually making it the primary chokepoint in Asia, as KLIP positions itself as the preferred maritime hub in this region.
The number of vessels plying the Straits of Malacca is expected to double by 2030.
Noormustafa said KLIP was an industrial port serving as a hub for lightering, bunkering, maritime services and even port of refuge for vessels plying this route.
“Linggi Base is a natural progression to address the growing demand in this segment for the years to come.
“This will also address the concern of the International Maritime Organisation – the impact on global maritime industry that can be caused by congestion in the Malacca Straits by offering these off-shore services here,” he added.
Noormustafa said the potential growth of the port would translate to a number of positive impacts on the socioeconomic environment to a larger extent, Malaysia.
The anticipated benefits from the KLIP project include a significant increase in capital investment, estimated at RM15 billion in domestic direct investments and foreign direct investments.
The project is also expected to generate a generation of substantial gross national income from foreign exchange earnings of foreign projects and gross domestic product from local industries.
It is also expected to generate 100,000 direct jobs during the construction period as well as 6,000 full-time jobs upon completion of Linggi Base, which consists of skilled workers, technical staff and management personnel.