Dredging and expansion of Samalaju Port to benefit energy-intensive industries in Samalaju Industrial Park, Malaysia
By JACK WONG
From: The Star Online
KUCHING: The new Samalaju Port project in Bintulu will involve massive dredging and reclamation works worth RM193.9mil as part of plans to expand port facilities.
According to the project’s approved preliminary environmental impact assessment (PEIA) report, an estimated 18.98ha would be reclaimed for the construction of port platform areas as well as other structures such as wave breaker and berths.
The report noted that the areas to be reclaimed included traditional fishing grounds of families living in the area.
“As the project is situated on a shallow continental shoreline, it is anticipated that dredging activities would be required to be carried out to deepen the approach channel and two turning basin areas within the port basin, outer zone and internal zone,” it said.
Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd (BPHB), which was tasked by the Sarawak government to undertake the project, awarded the construction of interim port facilities contract to Trans Resources Corp Sdn Bhd (TRC) recently.
The interim facilities would comprise a ro-ro ramp and two barge berths of 160m in length each with a depth of 7m.
The contract would be divided into two sections A and B for completion in nine and 12 months respectively.
Section A involves dredging works, construction of breakwater, the ro-ro ramp and a barge berth. A second barge berth would be built under Section B.
The interim facilities would be used by barges to bring in building materials, machinery and equipment for installation at the manufacturing plants of energy-intensive industries in Samalaju Industrial Park as well as raw materials and other goods.
According to BPHB chief executive officer Datuk Mior Ahmad Baiti Mior Lub Ahmad, the company is finalising the detailed design of the new port on 450ha.
Besides serving the energy-intensive industries like aluminium and manganese and ferroalloy smelters, it is understood that the new port would likely have three berths dedicated solely to discharge bulk cargo such as ores and raw materials for the smelters.
A conveyor belt system would be built to transport the raw materials from the port to smelting plants, located 4km apart by road.
Mior Ahmad had said that the main port project would be awarded in several packages, with tenders for some of the packages expected to be opened in August or September.
With total development cost estimated at RM1.8bil (inclusive of RM300mil investment in port equipment), the new port can handle 18 million tonnes of cargo per annum compared with Bintulu Port’s current annual capacity of 16 million tonnes (non-liquified natural gas cargo).
Samalaju Port, targeted to be operational in 2015, could raise its capacity to 30 million tonnes a year if necessary.
According to the PEIA, the project would be implemented in six phases.
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