KEMAMAN: Kemaman Port will undergo a massive multi-billion ringgit facelift to cater for the demands of the oil, gas shipping and tourism industries in Terengganu.
Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman said several foreign investors are keen to assist the peninsular east coast state to develop its main port into a sprawling entity to boost its economy.
One of the latest to show interest is Jiangsu Huaxicun Company Limited from China which wants to undertake a RM1 billion project to deepen and expand the eastern wharf of Kemaman Port, he said.
“Imagine the tremendous benefits the investment will create in terms of new job opportunities for the oil, gas, shipping and tourism sectors.
“Other supplementary industies like food, beverage and hospitality, will also gain as millions of tourists from China are expected to flock to the state, reknowned for its idylic islands and traditional food,” Razif said.
Terengganu is already in talks with several parties, including national oil corporation Petronas, to develop Marang into an international-class port to supplement Kemaman.
State Industrial and Commerce committee chairman Datuk Tengku Putera Tengku Awang, who is also Kuala Berang state assemblyman, said the multi-million new commercial port in Marang is expected to offer a multitude of jobs, including for military veterans, and spur tremendous economic growth for the east-coast state.
"This is in view of the huge demand from the shipping industry, especially from Petronas, to provide maintenance, repair, supplies, husbanding and transportation services.
“You must understand that there are thousands of vessels plying the South China Sea, let alone the Gulf of Thailand and its surrounding region.
"Thus, without a proper port, billions of ringgit worth of shipping services go to ports like Singapore, as other regional ports like Kemaman (or even Kuantan) are operating up to their maximum capacity, with available resources," he said.
Marang presently offers a jetty for fishing and ferries for the diving resorts in Kapas and Gemia islands.
Tengku Putera added that the federal government supports Terengganu's implementation of the special economic zone that offers rapid development of resources and facilities 80km from the state capital.
"The development of such facilities offshore, on the coastline and inland will provide experienced, competent and skillful veterans tremendous job and business opportunities, which will allow them to contribute towards boosting the state's economy.
"The special economic zone also encompasses other industries like agriculture, oil and gas, tourism and fishing.
“Thus, developing the Marang port will also encourage import-export activities to the region, which is rapidly growing thanks to the East Coast Highway project," said Tengku Putera.