KOTA KINABALU (June 29): The declaration of Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) Lahad Datu Port and concession agreement between Sabah Ports Authority (LPPS) with POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd and POIC Logistics Sdn Bhd to make the port public will pave the way towards playing a pivotal role as a logistics hub of the east Asean territories of the Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).
POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Fredian Gan said the declaration will attract more shipping and supply chain companies that are involved in the import and export business to utilize the port for the delivery and receipt of cargo, especially in the east coast of Sabah. He said POIC Lahad Datu has drawn in RM3.5 billion worth of investments and the figure is expected to rise with the declaration of POIC Lahad Datu Port as public. The port has been in operation since 2013 but it was restricted to the cargo of investors at the industrial park. He said POIC is planning on making Lahad Datu a hub for logistics, manufacturing, processing, transfer and consolidation of goods in the BIMP-EAGA region. He said POIC Lahad Datu is the only industrial park equipped with port facilities including a container terminal, dry bulk jetty, liquid bulk jetty and barge landing site. “Hence, the location of POIC Lahad Datu at the centre of the BIMP-EAGA region with a population of 70 million and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of USD320 billion in 2020 is akin to an unpolished gemstone,” he said at the declaration and concession agreement signing ceremony of POIC Lahad Datu Port here on Wednesday.
The event was officiated by Deputy Chief Minister cum Works Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Bung Moktar Radin. Gan said POIC is also planning several mega projects including a new international airport in Lahad Datu, which will be an enabler to the creation of a transportation hub in the industrial park, maritime academy and international marine hub, as well as a free zone. He added that POIC Sabah had recently inked collaboration agreements with a few organizations, such as China Construction Bank (CCB), Shangdong Ports from China and Dong Nam Circulator Group of Companies from South Korea. He said the collaboration with CCB aims to attract investors from China and all over the world through the bank’s network. Meanwhile, he said the cooperation with Shangdong Ports is to connect POIC Lahad Datu Port with China and coordinate the shipping of cargo from China to Sabah through the port.
As for Dong Nam Circulator Group of Companies, he said the company has selected Sabah as its shipping destination and POIC Lahad Datu Port as its shipping route and destination in the east coast. “If all the efforts are implemented successfully, Lahad Datu Industrial Park will help the State Government realize the Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) roadmap whereby the industrial, tourism and agricultural sectors will drive initiatives to make Sabah a progressive state by 2025.