Sim Kheng Hong Port not viable option

Datuk Julaihi Narawi

KUCHING: Using the Sim Kheng Hong Port as an option to alleviate the congestion at Senari Port is not viable, says Assistant Infrastructure and Ports Development Minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi.

He explained that the Sim Kheng Hong Port (Pending Terminal) was designated to handle only conventional cargo, including general, dry bulk, roll-on/roll-off, while the Senari Terminal handled mainly containerised cargo.

“There is also no container handling equipment at Sim Kheng Hong Port,” he said on Monday (May 10).

Julaihi was responding to a suggestion made by the Sarawak Manufacturers Association (SMA) that the Sim Kheng Hong Port be used as a temporary measure to solve the issue at Senari Port.

Senari Port’s congestion problem began when its computer system broke down on March 27.

Julaihi said the Kuching Port Authority (KPA) had taken several measures to address the issue, including increasing vessel productivity at berth and reducing waiting time at anchorage.

“The agreed KPI is 20-25 gross moves per hour for container vessel operations. KPA’s current delivery rate has improved to an average of 45 to 60 minutes compared to three to four hours during the computer outage.”

Julaihi added that KPA had also rectified its computer system and now using its new ‘Terminal Operating System’ for all containers handled at Senari, including for discharging, loading, delivery and receiving.

In terms of equipment, he said KPA would be providing a mobile crane to speed up container vessel operations at berth as soon as possible within the next three months.

“KPA has also offered an option to the shipping companies to arrange their own ship-to-shore crane and stevedores to work their container vessels.”

He said KPA would acquire two new quay cranes within a year or two and another two quay cranes to enable three-berth operations.

“KPA will also be replacing the current aging gantry cranes with four new ones within the next three to four years.”