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Sabah's Sapangar container port to double capacity to 1.3m teu by 2019

Sabah's Sapangar container port to double capacity to 1.3m teu by 2019
Sabah's main container port, Sapangar Bay Container Port (SBCP), will more than double its handling capacity under the initial phase of an expansion programme which is slated to begin construction early next year and reach completion by 2019, local reports said.

Suria Capital Holdings, whose unit Sabah Ports has been made the implementing agency for the programme, said that in the first phase, facilities would be expanded by extending berth length from the current 500m to 1.2km and yard area from 15 hectares to 60 hectares, to boost capacity to as much as 1.25m teu from the current 500,000 teu.

The Malaysian government has allocated MYR800m ($190m) under the 11th Malaysia Plan for the expansion. Funding under the first rolling plan would be staggered over two years (2016-2017), said Suria Capital. Under the arrangement, MYR7m is to be used within the first year of implementation and MYR365m in 2017.

Suria Capital, which is part of the consortium that manages all Sabah ports, noted that currently, SBCP handles an average of 300,000 teu a year, which comprises 70% of the total container throughput of Sabah.

“The growth has been on the uptrend at about 5% to 6% annually since the privatisation exercise,” Suria Capital said. SBCP was completed in 2006 after the privatisation of Sabah Ports in 2003.

Suria Capital noted that Sabah deputy chief minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan, during a recent port visit, had announced that a masterplan would be prepared this year to upgrade and expand the port’s infrastructure to allow mainline operators to call.