KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 17): Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd has secured an extension from the government to continue operating the Bintulu Port, Sarawak’s main port for liquefied natural gas (LNG), for 12 months.
The group, via its wholly owned Bintulu Port Sdn Bhd (BPSB), has inked a second interim agreement with the Ministry of Transport and Bintulu Port Authority (BPA) to continue operating the port from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024.
This follows the initial notification in April on the Cabinet’s approval for BPSB to continue operating the port for an interim period of 12 months, according to Bintulu Port’s filing on Thursday (Aug 17).
“The second interim agreement formalises the aforementioned 12-month extension and provides an option for a further six-month extension thereafter,” it said.
Last December, BPSB entered into an initial interim agreement with the government and BPA to continue the operations of Bintulu Port for an interim period of six months, which expired in June.
The government had previously granted approval in principle for BPSB to continue operating Bintulu Port for a period of 30 years, subject to the terms and conditions to be agreed upon by the parties. “Negotiations on the new terms and conditions are still ongoing, and the parties are expected to conclude them within this interim period,” said Bintulu Port.
The State Financial Secretary of Sarawak is the largest shareholder of Bintulu Port, with a direct 26.67% shareholding, and an indirect 13.04% held under its indirect wholly owned subsidiary Equisar Assets Sdn Bhd (13.04%), the group’s annual report showed. Petroliam Nasional Bhd is the second largest shareholder with a 28.5% stake.
The Sarawak government had expressed its desire to take over the administration of Bintulu Port since January. It was reported that Sarawak wants Bintulu Port to be part of a cluster of state ports under a Central Port Authority for streamlined management, operations and development.
Bintulu Port’s share price was last traded on Wednesday at RM5.15, with a market capitalisation of RM2.37 billion.