20 May 2022
Labuan has the potential of being turned into a regional hub due to its developing maritime industry, transport minister Wee Ka Siong said.
He said Labuan, which is strategically located in the heart of Southeast Asia, and with its natural deep waters, could be developed into a vibrant economic federal territory.
“The (transport) ministry thinks that Labuan has the ingredients to be a maritime hub in this region, and we should make the effort to realise this,” he said after witnessing the signing of an agreement between Victoria STS Sdn Bhd and Fendercare Marine Asia Pacific Pte Ltd on a ship-to-ship (STS) cargo transfer collaboration.
“We want to turn Labuan into an economic vibrant island, especially in the maritime-related sectors for the people’s wellbeing.
“The maritime industry can generate economic activities for the people of Labuan.”
Wee said the newly introduced STS cargo transfer service in the Labuan port limit of Victoria Bay was a testament to the island’s potential to become a regional maritime hub.
“When we received a marine research risk assessment from Victoria STS Sdn Bhd, we could see the potential for this maritime activity.
“And after being briefed by the Labuan Port Authority (LPA) and studying this STS activity and its economic impact on the local community, we issued the permit to the operator to conduct the STS in Labuan waters, which is quite far from the Labuan Liberty Wharf.”
Wee said his ministry had approved six berth areas for the STS to enable 12 mother vessels to conduct transfers at one time.
“With six berth areas approved for the STS, Labuan has among the largest STS facilities, alongside other areas in Peninsular Malaysia like Port Klang, Johor’s Port of Tanjung Pelepas and Pulau Bunting/Yan, Kedah.
“Among the potential advantages of Labuan’s STS facility are that the area is strategic and protected from unreasonable weather and natural disasters such as typhoons,” he said.
He said the STS service could turn Labuan into a maritime hub, with a long-term plan from LPA to further develop the port in the near future.
Labuan-based Victoria STS opened a new chapter in cargo handling, carrying out STS crude oil transfer operation for the first time ever at the Labuan port limit of Victoria Bay on May 10.
Victoria STS, with specialist expertise in offshore handling of liquefied gas and bulk petroleum cargoes, received its first licence on July 31, 2021 to conduct STS operations of oil and liquefied gas products within the Victoria port limit of Labuan.
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