Pleased with the development of
Sepangar Bay Container Terminal at Kota Kinabalu
in Sabah, the Federal Minister of Transport
Datuk Chan Kong Choy said his ministry would be
working closely with the State Ministry of
Infrastructure Development and Sabah Port
Authority to enhance the competitiveness of the
The new gateway port terminal built at a cost of
RM400 million is scheduled to commence
operations 1 June.
The federal government through the Ministry of
Transport provided a soft loan of RM193 million
to Sabah Port Bhd – RM150 million had been spent
to develop the terminal and RM43 million to
upgrade the port’s cargo handling equipment.
“The money had been very well spent and we are
very happy and it had also helped the port to
increase its productivity,” the Minister said
after a visit to the container terminal on 21
During the visit to the terminal, the Federal
Transport Minister met officials from the port
operating company, Sabah Ports Sdn Bhd, a
subsidiary of Suria Capital Holdings Bhd, state
government officials and also representatives of
port user organizations.
The RM400 million container terminal, that will
replace container handling operations at Kota
Kinabalu port, is one of the largest port
development projects carried out in the state
which has witnessed strong demand for port
facilities and services consistent with its
industrialization and economic growth.
The Minister was pleased to note that throughput
increased by 8.5 per cent to 15,1000 TEUs last
year from 14,100 TEUs in 2005.
“So if the growth can be sustained this year we
can expect to see Kota Kinabalu Port handling
some 200,000 containers. The port has done a
“The container crane productivity had also
increased to 10 containers per hour and once
everything is in place the volume can go up to
20 containers per hour,” he said.
Container traffic in the first quarter of this
year posted a commendable 21 per cent growth
totaling 51,800 TEUs after a full year growth
totaling 226,700 TEUs the previous year.
The new container terminal, which will be
equipped with four state of the art shore-side
mobile cranes and supported by three high reach
stackers for landside operations, will have an
installed capacity to handle 500,000 TEUs per
The terminal which draws a liner berth of more
than 400 metres long, will be able to serve
ships up to 3,500 TEUs size.
According to the group managing director of
Suria Capital Holdings Bhd, Datuk Abu Bakar Abas,
the new Sepangar Bay Container Terminal was
expected to emerge as an important gateway and
transshipment hub serving beyond the needs of
the state with an extended outreach covering the
The Sabah’s new gateway container terminal has
in fact made an auspicious start with the
successfully clinching one of the most important
regional shipping specialists in its bid to
become a regional transshipment hub.
The container terminal has won over Hub Line
which is expected to privdie the catalyst in
extending the transshipment outreach of the
Sabah port to several ports in Asia.
Hub Line which operates several dedicated
service strings in the intra Asia trade will
link Sepangar Bay Container Terminal with
several ports in China, Vietnam, Indonesia,
Mynmar and Bangladesh with inter-connecting
service strings that includes calls at Port
Klang as well.
Hub Line’s branch manager, Joseph Moo said the
shipping line has decided to focus its
transshipment operations at Sepangar Bay
Container Terminal in view of the state of the
“We are happy with the new facilities and the
assurance on shipside productivity provided by
the port operating company,” he said in Kota
He noted that the recent improvement in
productivity to 18 gross moves had exceeded
industry expectations and the port operating
company had assured it would try to further
improve the rate to beyond 20 gross moves.
Welcoming the initiatives of the Sabah Port Sdn
Bhd and Suria Capital Holdings Bhd to improve
the performance of the ports in the state, James
Lee, president of the Sabah Shipping Agents
Association said the commissioning of the new
port terminal augured well for the development
of the state.
“We are happy with the various efforts made to
improve the port performance and productivity
since privatization of the seven ports in the
state to Sabah Ports Sdn Bhd,” he said.
Chief Operating Officer of Sabah Ports Sdn Bhd,
Haji Ramli Abu Samah said commissioning of the
Sepagar Bay Container Terminal will herald a new
chapter in the development of the port industry
in Sabah and will set the scene for an expanded
role of the gateway port in the regional ports