Tanjung Manis Port to play pivotal role as central region trade gateway

Julaihi (2nd right) inspecting the Tanjung Manis Port today

KUCHING, Dec 3: Tanjung Manis Port is poised to play as the main trade gateway for central region Sarawak, said Assistant Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development (MIPD) of Sarawak Datuk Julaihi Narawi.

He added that Tanjung Manis Port is governed and regulated by the Tanjung Manis Port Authority and operated by Tanjung Manis Integrated Port Sdn. Bhd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC).

“Tanjung Manis Port is capable of handling up to 5.87 million tonnes of cargo including a maximum capacity of 230,000 TEUs container, yearly.

“As of October 2020, the current year cargo handling recorded at Tanjung Manis Port is 1.48 million tonnes while as of October 2019, 1.97million tonnes of cargo is handled at the port.

“Container handling recorded 25,050 TEUs for the period as of October in 2020 and 30,399 TEUs as of October 2019,” Julaihi said during his working visit to the Tanjung Manis Port Authority today.

He said, although the volume of annual cargo handling at Tanjung Manis Port has shown a declining pattern, the situation is believed to be temporary.

“The decrease is mainly due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he disclosed.

On the Aids to Navigation (AtoN), Julaihi said, it is an important tool as a ship’s guide in meeting the requirements of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA).

“Looking at its importance, it is time to upgrade, digitize and increase the number of buoys and beacons and install leading lights towards and within Tanjung Manis Port to uphold the channel navigation safety as per IALA’s latest specification requirements.

“The outcome of installation of AtoN is that it improves the security level of the shipping industry, especially cargo vessels and enforcement, creating a safer voyage environment and more systematic navigation controls in improving turnaround time and maintaining zero maritime accident,” he said.

In addition, Julaihi reiterated that the system will facilitate the ship’s entry into and exit the port area at night and thereby increase the confidence level of the local and international shipping communities to stop or transit at Tanjung Manis Port.

“AtoN is essential in ensuring our maritime navigation safe which is crucial for the economic growth of a region. As such, Sarawak Government has approved the project Proposed Design, Build, Supply and Installation of Aids to Navigation (AtoN) at Batang Rajang (Tanjung Manis Port). The contract cost is RM39,360,000 and is expected to be completed by the 1st quarter of 2022,” he added.

Also present were Chairman of Tanjung Manis Port Authority Shafiee Ahmad and permanent secretary of MIPD Datu Safri Zaiduddin. – DayakDayak