Home » Breaking News, Ports/Terminals » Malaysia’s Northport to rebuild Wharf 8 for ULCVs

Northport croppedNorthport (M) Bhd, the second of the two major operators at Port Klang, Malaysia, said it is now awaiting tenders for the upgrading of its eighth berth.

The improvement of Wharf 8, seen to begin by year-end, will enable it to accommodate ultra-large container vessels (ULCVs) of up to 18,000 TEUs (20-foot-equivalent units), the largest box carriers on the oceans today.

The company stressed that the revamp of Wharf 8 is more to build capability to accommodate bigger ships rather than to increase capacity. The wharf needs to be fortified to handle the weight of bigger cranes that will have to be installed.

“By upgrading wharf 8, annual capacity will increase by 300,000 TEUs, but the main objective is that ships as big as 18,000 TEUs could call at our port anytime,” said Northport chief executive officer Abi Sofian Abdul Hamid, as quoted by The Star Online.

At present, the terminal can only accept ULCVs of 14,000 TEUs on an ad-hoc basis.

Northport wants to entice the giant ships to include the terminal in their service loops with a strong infrastructure and competitive costs.

Abi said the project is in anticipation of bigger ships inevitably bumping off smaller ships, thus necessitating the reconstruction of Wharf 8 “to have a sustainable business, and ultimately sustainable profit in years to come.”

Northport handled 2.88 million TEUs in 2013, a 3 percent decline year-over-year, and has an annual capacity of 5.6 million TEUs.

The company forecasts flat growth for the year.

“We just hope to maintain last year’s volume because the volume achieved for the first half of this year is not that encouraging despite reports on the country’s economic growth,” Abi said.

 

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