‘Transport Ministry has spent RM150 mln on Bintulu Port’

Aziz (second right), Hamdan (second left) and others enjoying a view of Bintulu Port from Kidurong Tower.

BINTULU: The Transport Ministry has spent RM150 million on Bintulu Port in the past 10 years to ensure it could accommodate big vessels, said Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi.

“Today, we have seen the big growth potential of Bintulu,” he told reporters covering his working visit to Bintulu Port and Samalaju Port yesterday.

He said with Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) projects here, there was a need for all relevant parties to work together to ensure the state economy continued to grow.

The capacity of its ports also needed to be expanded from time to time as Bintulu was attracting billions of ringgit in investments.

“This will give a big impact to the economy in Sarawak in general and Bintulu in particular.’

He believed Bintulu would keep growing as all planned economic developments were proceeding smoothly.

“The development in Bintulu is fantastic, from a population of 5,000 population to 150,000 now. More foreign investors will come to Bintulu and turn it into a vibrant city.”

Meanwhile, Bintulu Port Authority general manager Dato Hamdan Abdul Hamid, in his briefing, said Bintulu Port had been operating since January 1, 1983. It was privatised on January 1, 1993.

“From 1993, we used to be one of the largest exporters of LNG in the world, until three or four years ago. We were overtaken by Qatar. Now we handle about 28 metric tonnes of LNG, compared to Qatar with 77 metric tonnes of LNG.”

On the future development of Bintulu Port, he said the fourth berth would be constructed to mainly accommodate additional cargoes from Sabah.

Hamdan said Bintulu Port had been informed by the Transport Ministry of the possibility of taking over Labuan Port from Labuan Marine Department.

A feasibility study was now being carried out.

On the new Samalaju Port, he said the new port was not a competitor for Bintulu Port.

“We complement each other because there are facilities at Samalaju Port that we don’t have here. Hoepfully, we can cooperate closely. For now, Bintulu Port is the largest port in Sarawak, but I think Samalaju Port can overtake it in years to come.”

Present were Marine Department director-general Dato Baharin Dato Abdul Hamid and state Marine Department director Dickson Dollah.

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