Malaysia: Northport Modernization Underway

Nortport (M) Bhd, which operates one of two main maritime gateways in Port Klang, will be spending some RM104mil to acquire 13 units of electric rubber-tyred gantry (e-RTG) cranes as part of the port’s plan to be more environmentally friendly.

Northport is the first terminal in Malaysia to purchase this eco-friendly port handling equipment and this is the second environmentally friendly terminal handling equipment project after the introduction of the hybrid-RTGs about three years ago.

Chief executive officer Abi Sofian Abdul Hamid told StarBiz that each e-RTG costs about RM8mil and the latest acquisition complements the port’s other green equipments such as “hybrid” prime movers and electric ship-to-shore cranes.

According to Abi Sofian in a press release, this acquisition is part of Northport’s business and port expansion plan involving significant redevelopment and restructuring of its infrastructure as well as major upgrading of equipment and facilities.

“The redevelopment and restructuring of this 100-year-old port showcases Northport’s commitment to serve its customers better and stay ahead of the competition.

“The e-RTG’s energy consumption cost is only 35% of a diesel-powered RTG. By adopting this new technology, we expect to reduce the fuel cost significantly.

“This investment is also made in response to the Government’s green technology initiatives. We believe these cranes will increase our operational efficiency and productivity in an eco-friendly and responsible way,” said Abi Sofian. Northport expects the complete delivery of the cranes by May.

Northport, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NCB Holdings Bhd, handled 3.1 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) last year, reflecting a marginal decrease from the previous year’s volume of 3.2 million TEUs.

Out of the total volume last year, about 60% were local boxes while the remaining were transhipment containers.

Despite the flat performance last year, Abi Sofian was upbeat on this year’s prospects as Northport is expected to record more than 5% growth in volume in tandem with the expected growth in the economy.

On capacity expansion, Abi Sofian said Northport’s new Container Terminal Four (CT4) was progressing well on schedule and the construction of Wharf 8A which would form part of it, is expected to be fully operational in July.

“Upon its completion, Wharf 8A will be able to berth vessels with deeper draft which, in turn, will improve connectivity.

“Besides that, Northport is also investing in new equipment to support the efficiency of its operations. Among the equipment ordered are quay cranes, prime movers, rubber-tyred gantries and trailers.

“All the equipment marked for CT4 operations are being delivered culminating in the arrival of the four super post panamax quay cranes in the second quarter of this year to coincide timely with the completion of Wharf 8A,” he said.

The port is also working to upgrade facilities for its conventional cargo operations at the bulk terminal and Southpoint.

“All these projects, upon completion, will place Northport in the right position to ride through the upturn in the next cycle of global economic growth.

“This will be further enhanced by the process to improve workforce capability under the Rejuvenating Team Northport Programme,” said Abi Sofian.


Source: bintuluport, January 7, 2013

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