Saturday, September 3, 2011

Designer for port Samalaju Port

KUCHING: Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd (BPHB) has engaged KTA (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd to carry out a detailed design for the proposed Samalaju Port, a crucial component of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score) to serve energy-intensive industries.

Chief executive officer Datuk Mior Ahmad Baiti Mior Lub Ahmad said KTA, a leading multi-disciplinary consulting firm, was appointed last month. The new port project has been accorded top priority by the state authorities.

To be located on 450ha and about 60km by road from Bintulu town, the deep sea port will primarily handle the import of raw materials and export of finished products from the industries operating in the Samalaju Industrial Park.

The first batch of pioneer investors in Score - Press Metal Bhd, Japan’s Tokuyama Corp, OM Materials and Asia Minerals Ltd - have started the construction of their manufacturing facilities in Samalaju Industrial Park.

Press Metal is setting up a new aluminium smelter, Tokuyama is investing in a polycrystalline silicon factory while OM Materials and Asia Minerals are both building a manganese smelter.

Their combined investment is estimated at RM9.5bil.

Mior Ahmad said BPHB, which was tasked by the Sarawak government to spearhead the project, had received the report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, which was commissioned in April to conduct a study on the viability of the new port.

Among the recommendations, Pricewaterhouse Coopers has come up with an estimated development cost of the new port but Mior Ahmad declined to reveal the price tag.

Some analysts have put the port’s development cost at about RM1.2bil.

Also completed were the hydraulic study and an environmental impact assessment study.

“We (BPHB) are preparing a draft layout plan for the approval of the state government.

“We target to start preliminary works, including earthworks, on some of the proposed packages of the new port in January 2012,” Mior Ahmad told StarBiz.

-The Star Online-

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