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Port Klang Free Zone project 'viable' despite escalating costs

Port Klang Free Zone project 'viable' despite escalating costs

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia's transport minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat says he still believes Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) is a viable project, writes news site Portworld. Ong said: "I think by and large people believe that this (PKFZ) itself is a viable project."

Figures published this week show the cost of the project has almost quadrupled from original projections. The total cost of the project is now put at $2.1 billion (MR 7.4 billion) against original projections of MR 1.96 billion.

The free zone is being developed as part of Port Klang, Malaysia's biggest port and a major bunkering centre.

An audit report on PKFZ by PricewaterhouseCoopers was posted on the Port Klang Authority (PKA) website on Thursday after growing concern about how the project was being handled. It spoke of "significant project costs, weak governance and weak project management" saying they had "severely undermined the viability of the project."

PKFZ has been marketed as "Malaysia's national gateway and the region's transshipment hub." It had been expected to boost bunker volumes at Port Klang.  [01/06/09]