PORT KLANG (April 14): Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said the government is aiming to finalise some key decisions within this year on the development of the proposed Carey Island port.
“Our target is to at least make some key decisions within this year [on the development of the proposed Carey Island port] — decisions such as the parties to spearhead this project. Hopefully, some decisions can be made this year," Loke said at a press conference after officiating the ground-breaking ceremony for a port reception facility at Port Klang.
The government's preference is for local companies to lead the project, he said.
When asked if any private-sector parties are interested in taking it on, Loke said there are a number of them who are interested.
“The project has to be led by local companies. There are a lot of parties showing interest [in the project]. At this point, we won't disclose the parties that are interested before any decision is made. But the conditions we will take into consideration include the companies’ experience, ability and proposals for the project,” Loke said.
While discussions on the development of the Carey Island port are still ongoing, Loke said anyone interested in taking part in the project is welcome to check the requirements with the Port Klang Authority (PKA).
In terms of the capital requirement for the project, Loke said it is hard to provide any estimation now as it is a greenfield project.
“This is a huge project. We cannot provide an estimation for the required investment needed for the project now, before the government makes any decision. This is because we never know what kind of proposals will come in. Maybe they can do it better, more efficiently, and so on,” he added.
Meanwhile, Westports Holdings Bhd chief executive officer Eddie Lee Mun Tat, who was also present at the event, told The Edge that the group is waiting for more details from the government on the proposed Carey Island development, before it can make any decision whether the group wants to take part in it.
The proposed development of the Carey Island port — the third port in Selangor — was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim during the tabling of Budget 2023 in February this year. Anwar said the project could strengthen Port Klang's status as a main marine hub for Southeast Asia.
Last month, Loke said the Carey Island port development will span over 30 years, and that its initial phases will focus on conventional cargo, with dry and liquid bulk cargo terminals.
The Carey Island development will be carried out in four phases — Phase 1A (2025-2030), Phase 1B (2030-2040), Phase 2 (2040-2050) and Phase 3 (2050-2060).
According to Loke, the PKA has been doing a feasibility study on the Carey Island port since 2019, following the Cabinet’s approval to do so, and that the study has affirmed the feasibility of having a third port there, an idea first mooted in 2017.
This port is expected to cater to an annual throughput capacity of up to 30 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers.