The Star, TEH ENG HOCK
JOHOR BARU: The RM1.4bil petroleum hub in Tanjung Bin, Pontian, which is being built on a man-made island, will spur the logistics services and other commercial activities in the Iskandar Development Region (IDR).
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Asia Petroleum Hub (APH) would be one of the world’s largest fully integrated petroleum terminals and would become part of the global petroleum trading market and the “bulk gateway” to the regional and domestic markets.
“APH will complement and enhance the capabilities of Pasir Gudang Port and Tanjung Pelepas Port to provide an integrated comprehensive package to its clients.”
He said APH would meet the nation’s demand for petroleum storage and blending requirements, which are presently being done at foreign facilities.
Gateway: The RM1.4bil petroleum hub is being built on a reclaimed island off Tanjung Bin, Pontian.
“Furthermore, APH will in time provide sufficient storage facilities for Malaysia to meet the national fuel reserve requirements,” he said in his speech before launching the groundbreaking ceremony of APH on the island.
The Government has invested RM100mil to create the 40ha island and provide supporting infrastructure.
The terminal, scheduled to be completed in 2009, is designed to handle 30 million tonnes of petroleum products and can accommodate 3,000 vessels annually.
A consortium led by KIC Oil and Gas, which is the largest independent terminal operator in Malaysia, is developing APH.
APH executive chairman Abdul Rashid Mohd Isa said the integrated petroleum terminal would have a storage capacity of one million cubic metres and would be equipped with two jetties with seven berths.
“Additionally, it will be fitted with a single buoy mooring system and a tank truck loading rack. The single buoy mooring will be connected to the hub via 5km-long sub-sea pipelines, enabling the hub to import and export more than 30 million metric tonnes of petroleum products annually,” he said.
Meanwhile, the construction and port industry has been given a shot in the arm as the Government has lifted a restriction on purchasing cranes from other sources instead of just from one company.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who did not disclose the company supplying cranes, said the construction sector was expanding rapidly with the first quarter of this year registering 4% growth.
“This is compared with a contraction of 0.5% last year,” he said, adding that this could be an indication the industry was booming slowly.