Planned East Coast Rail Link should help Malaysia's Westports
MALAYSIA's projected East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) will increase connectivity and help support demand for cargo and maritime port services, says Westports group managing director Datuk Ruben Emir Gnanalingam, reports the Malaysian Star
MALAYSIA's projected East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) will increase connectivity and help support demand for cargo and maritime port services, says Westports group managing director Datuk Ruben Emir Gnanalingam, reports the Malaysian Star.
'The added rail connectivity would see more industries being set up along the route, especially along the key stations or stops on the route,' he said.
'I don't think we will benefit much from the construction of the ECRL, but we will benefit from the flourishing of industries and factories along the rail route that will help add to port cargo,' he said.
The ECRL route will connect Port Klang on the Straits of Malacca to Kota Baru in the north-east of Peninsular Malaysia.
The revised alignment will cover Kota Baru-Mentakab-Jelebu-Kuala Kelawang-Bangi/Putrajaya-Port Klang.
Meanwhile, commenting on its capacity, Mr Ruben said that it is expecting capacity to grow by about three to eight per cent this year from 9.5 million TEU last year.
'We have the capacity for up to 14 million TEU in the port. We are anticipating that cargo traffic would continue to be driven by transshipment demand in the South-East Asian region,' he said.
Commenting on its capital expenditure he said that capex requirements this year were quite small and the company had more than enough container capacity at the moment.
'Usually, we would spend about MYR50 million [US$12 million] to MYR100 million on maintenance capex,' he said.
The company said its total container throughput improved to 9.5 million TEU in financial year 2018 ending December 31 (FY18).
'Gateway containers increased 18 per cent to 3.3 million TEU, as our container terminal supported and reflected favourable domestic economic activities, while transshipment volume registered a slight increase to 6.2 million TEU,' it said.
Westports also said that it had invested MYR2.5 billion in recent years to purchase state-of-the-art terminal operating equipment.
It had also invested to construct a contiguous linear berth with a deep draft that would enable its terminal to support clients' plans of deploying even larger vessels.
'In FY18, Westports accommodated 6,966 container vessels, and the company is berthing more and new ultra-large container vessels. The OOCL United Kingdom, which is the world's largest container vessel, made its maiden call at Westports in FY18,' it said.