The project is expected to begin next year and run for five years, a company press release said. Under the plan, terminal operator Northport (Malaysia) Bhd will upgrade container wharves 8, 9, and 10.
New container-handling equipment will also be bought, and conventional cargo terminals for break bulk, liquid and dry bulk cargo will be upgraded.
Company CEO Abi Sofian Abdul Hamid said they are currently getting board approval for the redevelopment program.
Northport had earlier embarked on a RM500-million expansion project that included developing a new 350-meter container berth called Wharf 8A, which will be operational in August this year; upgrading work; and buying new container handling equipment.
“The RM500-million expansion was fully financed by internal funds, but we would have to raise funds for the upcoming [RM1-billion] redevelopment project.” said Abi Sofian.
Northport is targeting to handle 3.4 million TEUs (30-foot-equivalent units) this year, up 10 percent from 3.09 TEUs in 2012.
But Abi Sofian admits that the port faces the challenge of declining exports as shipments to China, Japan, and the U.S continue to drop in the first two months of this year. For the fourth quarter of 2012, Northport saw a 10.9 percent decline in revenue to RM156.7 million.
But he expects port operations to improve in the second half of this year, with Malaysia still forecasting a 5 percent to 6 percent economic growth.
The company plans to focus on capturing transshipment traffic as the ASEAN Economic Community looms, and “there will be a lot of intra-ASEAN trade which will involve transshipment volumes,” said Abi Sofian.