Inai Kiara Will Further Push Up Country's Shipping Industry, Says Rosmah
July 21, 2010 20:40 PM
By Muammar Kamarudin
PORT KLANG, July 21 (Bernama) -- The participation of Inai Kiara Sdn Bhd in the ship building sector through its subsidiary company, Selat Melaka Shipbuilding Corporation Sdn Bhd, will further enhance the country's shipping industry, particularly in the building of dredgers, said the Prime Minister's wife, Datin Seri Paduka Rosmah Mansor.
"It is also a positive and proactive move as prior to this, Malaysia did not have the capability to build dredgers," Rosmah said in her speech at the launch of Selat Melaka Shipbuilding's masterplan for its shipyard development project in Pulau Indah on Wednesday.
She said with the bold move by Inai Kiara to bring in German and Dutch technology, the country now had the technology to build dredgers locally.
Rosmah said she had been also informed that Selat Melaka Shipbuilding's shipyard was the sole shipyard in the country capable of building and repairing dredgers.
With its strategic location and access via both land and sea, and its proximity to Port Klang, the shipyard has high potential to attract foreign investors to invest in various other related industries such as gas and oil, she said.
The development of the shipyard will also certainly provide the value addition currently needed in the Malaysian shipping industry, she said.
"I am certain this latest development will help place Malaysia's name in the world map, as a new location offering the facilities for building and repairing dredgers," she said.
Apart from this, once completed, the shipyard will also offer 10,000 job opportunities for various skills as well as generate business opportunities for entrepreneurs, suppliers of services and products for the local shipping industry.
Indirectly, the shipyard will be a catalyst for economic development, particularly in Pulau Indah, she said.
The involvement of Inai Kiara as a local company in the industry will also help contribute towards savings in foreign exchange while cutting down the dependence on foreign shipping companies and insurance, she said.
The involvement of Inai Kiara in the shipping and dredger building industry will contribute towards the upgrading of facilities and standards of local ports, she said.
Besides this, the efforts will also help in the process of coastal recovery which is seen as important for the tourism industry and in retaining the country's ecobalance system.
These developments will not only strengthen but are also capable of bringing up the industry to par with other countries, she said.
At the event Wednesday, Rosmah was also given the honour of naming the first dredger built at the shipyard, "Inai Ixora". The vessel measures 84 metres and has horse power of 13,200 which is capable of dredging sand as deep as 18 to 25 metres.
Meanwhile, the Executive Chairman of Inai Kiara Datuk Captain Gulzar Mohamad said his company was currently undertaking a long term plan to replace its existing vessels due to their declining efficiency and high maintenance cost.
He said the company, which received RM1.6 billion in funding from three local banks, was in the midst of preparing to build five vessels.
Gulzar said the company has been active in dredging and reclamation works since 1997 as a small contractor by renting equipment from Indonesia and Europe.
Seven years later into operations, the company started to own used dredgers which it upgraded. It currently has 22 such vessels.
Prior to Inai Kiara's establishment, Gulzar said land excavation and reclamation works were 100 per cent carried out by foreign contractors, but with Inai Kiara, the foreign exchange in this area was brought down by 50 per cent.
The shipyard currently provides 1,000 job opportunities to locals employed in various sectors of skills.
"This shipyard and Pulau Indah in general is set to become the region's largest hub or centre for the fabrication and maintenance of dredgers besides being a producer and supplier of spare parts for dredgers," he added.