Frankly Speaking: Same plan, different players

This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on August 19, 2019 - August 25, 2019.
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Last week, the Johor Port Authority announced that it was looking to develop a RM2 billion fully integrated oil terminal project, Bunker Island, within Iskandar Malaysia and the port limits of Port of Tanjung Pelepas.

The port authority said in a statement that it is going into the project with Smart Crest Sdn Bhd, and that the project will be fully funded by the private sector. Present at the signing ceremony was Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

However, for such a huge project, it is surprising that Smart Crest only has a paid-up capital of RM100,000.

According to reports, the Bunker Island project, when completed, is expected to be one of the largest independent and fully integrated oil terminals in the region, with 61 tanks located in five tank pits with a storage capacity of 1.2 million cu m to handle various types of products. The terminal facility will have two jetties with seven berths.

Nine years ago, there was a similar plan, only with different players.

Remember Asian Petroleum Hub (APH)?

KIC Oil and Gas Group had a 90% stake in APH, an island in about the same location, which was supposed to morph into a bunkering facility. The remaining 10% shareholding was held by politically connected Trek Perintis Sdn Bhd.

KIC, reportedly the country’s largest private operator of oil terminals, was looking to acquire 22 vessels valued at US$200 million, all within three years.

APH was slated to be operational by August 2011, but it went belly up before it could take off.

Lead financier CIMB Group appointed a receiver for APH, which was never completed.

Let’s hope this latest project takes off.

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