Penang Port must dredge channels, CM insists

By Opalyn Mok
Penang port (pic) must be deepened to allow entry of bigger ships with dredging work urged. — AFP pic

GEORGE TOWN, April 12 — Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) must carry out capital dredging works in Penang's waterways to allow bigger ships to enter, said Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

He said the waterways must be deepened by 15m at an estimated cost of RM353 million.

“When the concession was granted to Seaport Terminal, which is part of MMC Corp, one of the conditions is that they have to do capital dredging to deepen the waters to 15m but this was not done in the last three years,” he said.

“So the state exco has decided to insist that capital dredging must be done and we have asked the state secretary, who sits on the Penang Port Commission board, to state the government's stand to the board,” he said.

Lim was responding to an article in The Edge quoting PPSB chief operating officer Sasedharan Vasudevan as saying the company will delay plans to dredge the channel.

Sasedharan reportedly said there was no need to accommodate bigger vessels now.

In the same article, it was reported that the failed Tanjung City Marina will not be revived, with Penang Port Commission (PPC) chairman Tan Teik Cheng reportedly saying it was no longer viable.

The RM43 million marina was built in 2005, but sank after it was damaged by a storm and was subsequently abandoned,

Design failure and the lack of a good breakwater were also blamed for the failed marina.

Lim today questioned why the marina was not being restored when it had cost millions to build.

“They should restore it as it is in a strategic location and the state exco has decided to push for it to be rebuilt and we will ask the state secretary to convey this to the PPC board,” he said.

He also demanded to know why no action was taken against those who were involved in building the marina.