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MITI Minister Briefed On Sapangar Bay Expansion Plan
Sabah Ports Sdn Bhd (SPSB) welcomed YB Datuk Darell Leiking, Minister of International Trade and Industry to Wisma Sabah Ports, Sapanggar Bay recently. The Minister and his delegation which consisted of MITI and MIDA officials,were briefed on the ports’s current development as well as the Sapangar Bay Container Port expansion project.
Briefing the Minister was Ms. Ng Kiat Min, Group Managing Director, Suria Capital Holdings Berhad cum Managing Director, Sabah Ports Sdn Bhd.
Positioned to be the transshipment hub for EAGA and Far East cargoes,SPSB aims to build SBCP into a designated regional hub for containerised cargo thus potentially amassing critical volume that will attract Main Line Operators. SBCP is envisioned to serve as the main gateway for trade focusing mostly on the larger Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP –EAGA), North Asian as well as China, Korean and Japan.
The expansion is driven primarily by public private partnership whereby an allocated funding of RM 1.07 billion ringgit had been approved by the federal government and shall be complemented by an investment of RM300 million ringgit by SPSB.The government funds shall be channeled through Sabah Economic Development & Investment Authority(SEDIA) as the implementing agency; while the project owner is port regulatory body, Sabah Ports Authority.
The first phase of the expansion is expected to start by end of the year and is anticipated to complete within a 48 month period or by 2023.The initial stage will include works to increase berth length to 1 kilometer and expand container handling capacity from 500,000 teus to an eventual 1.25 million teus at the final phase.The expansion plan is expected to include the establishment of a Free Zone Area to complement the Port’s role as a Transhipment Hub.
As part of the larger Sapangar Bay development plan, the conventional cargo terminal currently operating at Kota KinabaluPort will be relocated. With the relocation of general cargo to Sapangar, Sabah Ports plans to create an integrated linkage of containers, liquid and general cargo. The Sapangar Bay Integrated Port will encourage industrialization and manufacturing grow that Sapangar thus further solidifying the foundation for free zones and other economic initiatives to take place.
The transhipment strategy along with other improvement initiatives will significantly address the issue of trade imbalance that may result in reducing the cost of ocean freight. This will eventually lead to not only lowering the cost of doing business and the cost of living in Sabah, but also enhance the State’s economic competitiveness in the long-run and potentially elevate the Sabah’s status as a destination for investment and trade.