Malacca port's impact on Singapore 'minimal'

A container ship entering the Singapore Strait for the Strait of Malacca, as tourists stand at mainland Asia's southern most point in Johor, Malaysia, on Nov 12, 2016.
A container ship entering the Singapore Strait for the Strait of Malacca, as tourists stand at mainland Asia's southern most point in Johor, Malaysia, on Nov 12, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

Oil storage capacity is lower and it doesn't seem to offer container handling services: Josephine Teo

A new international port being built in Malacca will have minimal impact on Singapore as its planned oil storage capacity will be far lower than what is on offer here, Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo told Parliament yesterday.

She said the Kuala Linggi International Port (Klip) will be able to store 1.5 million cubic metres of oil, while Singapore has a capacity of 20.5 million cubic metres.

Mrs Teo was replying to Mr Saktiandi Supaat (Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC), who asked about Klip's impact on Singapore's status as a regional shipping hub and its economy, and how port services here will stay competitive.

The minister said Singapore's position as "a regional bunkering and oil storage hub is anchored by a strong eco-system of oil refineries and oil traders, and by the high volume of ships calling at Singapore for various services".

She noted that Klip, which will add oil storage and bunkering facilities, does not seem to offer container handling services, and that will mean minimal impact on Singapore's container transhipment port.

 

NEXT-GENERATION PORT

We are developing a next-generation port at Tuas. With an annual capacity of up to 65 million TEUs (20ft equivalent units), the Tuas terminal is expected to be the largest container terminal in the world, allowing us to achieve greater economies of scale and to more efficiently handle the megaships of the future.

MRS JOSEPHINE TEO, Senior Minister of State (Transport).

New berths at Pasir Panjang Terminal Phases 3 and 4 have fully automated yard crane systems that will be integrated with an automated guided vehicle system - now on trial - to move the containers around the port, she said.

The Government has also invested heavily in manpower, with recent additions including a SkillsFuture Earn and Learn programme for port operations officers.

Mrs Teo added: "We are developing a next-generation port at Tuas. With an annual capacity of up to 65 million TEUs (20ft equivalent units), the Tuas terminal is expected to be the largest container terminal in the world, allowing us to achieve greater economies of scale and to more efficiently handle the megaships of the future."

Separately, Trade and Industry (Industry) Minister S. Iswaran told Parliament that China's investments in South-east Asia "enhance the opportunities" for Singapore, whether to participate in regional projects as partners or for overall economic development.

His remarks were prompted by a question from Mr Zaqy Mohamad (Chua Chu Kang GRC) on a greater push of external investments in Singapore's neighbours and intensified competition.

Mr Iswaran said: "We must continue our effort in maintaining our emphasis on competitiveness and ensuring our industries remain viable, in the face of different types of competitions that will arise. There were others in the past and there will certainly be different forms in the future."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 10, 2017, with the headline 'Malacca port's impact on Singapore 'minimal''. Print Edition | Subscribe