Hong Kong and SE Asia Correspondent, Seatrade Maritime News
Vincent Wee is Seatrade's Hong Kong correspondent covering Hong Kong and South China while also making use of his Malay language skills to cover the Malaysia and Indonesia markets. He has gained a keen insight and extensive knowledge of the offshore oil and gas markets gleaned while covering major rig builders and offshore supply vessel providers.
Vincent has been a journalist for over 15 years, spending the bulk of his career with Singapore's biggest business daily the Business Times, and covering shipping and logistics since 2007. Prior to that he spent several years working for Brunei's main English language daily as well as various other trade publications.
In more signs of consolidation, yet another Malaysian group bailing out of the oil and gas (O&G) sector is MMC Corp, which is selling out of Petronas endorsed engineering design consultancy MMC Oil & Gas Engineering, for MYR50m ($11.3m) in cash to Melati Pertiwi, the company said ina stock market announcement.
Malaysian conglomerate UMW Holdings, has ended its foray into the oil and gas (O&G) business, exiting through a series of corporate exercises, while creating a bigger group out of three, all government linked companies and funds, local media said.
Malaysia's latest Carey Island project is something of a wild card but is not expected to change the port scene in Southeast Asia too much.
With growth of 10.8% to 13.2m teu in 2016 compared with 11.9m teu the year before, Port Klang is expected to move up one spot to 11th in the World Container League, local reports quoted the Port Klang Authority (PKA) as saying.
Indonesia's government has signalled that its new Patimban Port project in West Java is slated to service the automotive industry and expects it to boost the country's automotive exports in the future.
Despite a late push bringing a 14.3% rise in throughput to 1.8m teu, to produce the best monthly growth of the year in December the Port of Hong Kong, still saw annual volumes fall 2.5% to 19.6m teu for 2016, as projected bringing its first sub-20m teu annual throughput in over a decade.
Cosco Shipping Ports (CSP) ended the year on a high note, with a 10.5% rise in December overall throughput to 8.4m teu, driven by stellar 72.1% growth at its overseas ports and a recovery into positive territory for all its reporting regions.
MMC Corp continues to strengthen its hold on the Malaysian port sector, taking 70% equity interest in Tanung Bruas Port operator KMB Seaport for MYR21m ($4.7m) in cash.
SapuraKencana Petroleum (SapKencana) is teaming up with UK-based service provider Proserv to provide enhanced technology service offerings to clients in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in the subsea sector.
Malaysia has come up with another ambitious port project, this time possibly funded with Chinese money. Local media reported that a MYR200bn ($44.6bn) port-industrial city project is being planned on Carey Island, near the current Port Klang container terminal complex of Westport and North Port.