Bintulu’s strategic location and multipurpose ports a plus for Malaysia’s economic growth
The multipurpose Samalaju Industrial Port is the shipping hub for heavy industries in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy
As one of five regional development plans aimed at transforming Malaysia into a high-income economy by 2020, the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) – a hub for high energy-intensive industries – is vital to the country’s economic ambitions.
Central to SCORE’s success is Samalaju Industrial Port, a 393-hectare port serving the needs of SCORE’s heavy industries and one of three key projects spearheaded by world-class port developer and operator Bintulu Port Holdings.
By the end of 2013, SCORE attracted a total of US$10.49 billion in foreign investments for Samalaju Industrial Park, where Samalaju Industrial Port is located.
This, combined with Bintulu Port Holdings’ strategic geographic location in Borneo – the heart of Southeast Asia – strong expertise in port management, years of extensive experience handling sensitive materials complemented by key partnerships with crucial stakeholders such as Petronas and major shipping lines have propelled the group’s integral role in the region’s industrial development.
Before developing Samalaju Industrial Port, which commenced phase 1 of operations in June this year, Bintulu Port Holdings started as Bintulu Port – eastern Malaysia’s largest container port noted as one of the largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals in the world.
“From starting as Bintulu Port relying previously on liquefied natural gas (LNG), which is still our largest single source of revenue, we have since diversified our service offerings – and with the implementation of SCORE we can expect an increase in cargo shipments,” says Mohammad Medan Abdullah, group CEO.
“We have stepped up a second time to meet the needs of the nation’s major industrial undertakings with Samalaju Industrial Port and have proven our capacity to develop new ports, the first time being in 1983 to meet the needs of the emerging Malaysian LNG industry in Bintulu.”
Geographically situated midway between Sarawak and Sabah along Asia’s busy sea trading lanes, Bintulu Port is the import and export gateway for Sarawak and the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines-East Asean Growth Area.
The deep seaport, also the third largest port in Malaysia, has built a reputation as one of the most efficient multipurpose ports in the region. It is strategically located to meet oil and gas industry demands and handle a growing volume of general, containerised, liquid and dry bulk cargoes and palm oil products.
Bintulu Port Holdings also owns and manages Biport Bulkers, an ideal bulking installation terminal for companies seeking superb facilities, faster vessel turnaround times and excellent operational safety. It is also the main export point for edible oil products in Sarawak, handling more than 95 per cent of Sarawak’s crude palm oil products.
“We try to understand exactly what clients want and respond as quickly and most efficiently as possible to meet their requirements,” Mohammad says. “We have the facilities, human resources and up-to-date operating systems – being the first to utilise the latest container terminal operating system – and take measures to provide the best service.”
Last year saw Bintulu Port Holdings strengthen its position as a growing world-class LNG and multipurpose port, generating a total operating revenue of US$138.7 million – an increase of
US$8.6 million over the group’s operating revenue of US$130.1 million in 2015.
With good business fundamentals, steady growth in cargo throughput and new contracts, the group continues to hone its commitment to deliver a strong operational and financial performance.
“Because of our position right in the middle of the Asean, we would like to work with other ports locally and regionally to see how we can all become more efficient. We can achieve synergies and better opportunities,” Mohammad says. “We’re willing to engage, discuss and look for win-win opportunities with ports, ship liners, investors and partners where we can work together with transparency and openness and cooperate towards a common good.”