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Malaysia's Westports will meet regional competition through expansion

TO keep up with stiff competition in Southeast Asia, Malaysian ports must retain their status as transshipment hubs and continue to raise efficiency levels to keep costs low.

Malaysia's Westports will meet regional competition through expansion
29 September 2016 - 20:14

Malaysia's Westports will meet regional competition through expansion
TO keep up with stiff competition in Southeast Asia, Malaysian ports must retain their status as transshipment hubs and continue to raise efficiency levels to keep costs low.
"We will remain relevant as long as we continue to be a transshipment hub. Efficiency must also keep improving to reduce costs for the shippers," said Westports Holdings chairman G Gnanalingam.
Westports' efficiency of 35 gross moves per hour (mph) is above the industry's average of 25 mph, Mr Gnanalingam said. As of last year, Westports commanded 76 per cent of Port Klang's volume, reported Colchester's Seatrade Maritime News.
On the region's port development, Mr Gnanalingam noted that Singapore started the construction of the first phase of a mega port in Tuas that will eventually have a capacity to handle 65 million TEU a year.
Meanwhile, Indonesian President Joko Widodo formally launched the New Priok Container Terminal 1 in Kalibaru, the first of five phases of an expansion of Priok port that are scheduled for completion in 2019. 
The new terminal adds 1.5 million TEU to Priok's existing seven million TEU annual capacity.
Moving forwards, Westports will continue to expand with container terminal 8 (CT8) by next year and then plans to develop container terminal 9 (CT9).
"By the time we complete CT9, our capacity will be 15 million TEU. Capacity building and efficiency are the way to go in this supply-driven industry. We have to build the infrastructure first," said Mr Gnanalingam.
By the end of 2017, when CT8 is fully completed, Westports' total capacity will increase to 13.5 million TEU. At present, Phase 1 of the CT8 expansion with 300 metres of wharf has started operations with the addition of four 52-metre-high ship-to-shore cranes and six rubber tyred gantry cranes.

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