At least RM2 billion to develop Sepanggar Port into transshipment hub

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KOTA KINABALU: At least RM2 billion is needed to develop the Sepanggar Port here into a transshipment hub in the region. Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah said the cost depends on the size of the area and location of where the works will start.“Works to expand the port will be implemented in phases and careful planning is important as this will include the development of the infrastructure in Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP) where some RM300 million is needed,” said Raymond who is also Industrial Development Minister. He told reporters this when accompanying Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Mah Siew Keong on a walkabout and meet-the-hawkers at Lido market, off Penampang road yesterday. He said the process to expand KKIP is a long term plan and it will be based on the 11th Malaysia Plan. He said Sepanggar is one of the biggest ports in Sabah and it plays a crucial role connecting other ports in the Palm Oil Industry Cluster (POIC) in Lahad Datu and Oil and Gas Industry Park in Sipitang. When we have an industry, he said, investors will come to Sabah to produce goods so a well-developed port facilities is needed to export the products, otherwise it will be difficult to attract investors to set up their operations in Sabah. He said the proposals to turn Sepanggar Port into a transshipment hub were to enable investors to produce goods and transport products. “For example we can transport products from China than sell it in the Middle East and vice-versa,” Raymond cited. Furthermore, he said Sabah is located in a strategic area in Asean which had access to 11 countries in the region within three to six hours. “Therefore, we have proposed to the federal government that Sabah is sited in a strategic location to become a transshipment hub. “This is a big plan for Sepanggar and this will also benefit KKIP as investors need to build warehouse to store their goods,” Raymond said.
By PAUL MU Paul@newsabahtimes.com.my
25th February, 2015