Multiple Hours | Malacca Port Authority designates an anchorage area to conduct bunkering operations

The Malacca Port Authority (MPA) said on Thursday April 14 that a Special Purpose Anchorage Area (SPAA) for bunkering activities will be designated within the limits of the Port of Malacca in the Strait of Melaka.

The bunker area dedicated primarily to transit vessels passing through the Strait of Malacca will be the first of its kind in Malaysia.

MPA Chairman Datuk Koh Chin Han said the size of the area, adjacent to the main shipping route in the Strait of Malacca, is around 15 square kilometers with natural water depths of between 16 and 29 meters.

He said the area would be able to simultaneously accommodate more than 20 very large crude carriers to receive bunker deliveries.

The operating and implementation model is similar to those of Fujairah, Gibraltar and other major ports located close to established shipping routes.

Datuk Koh said Far East Bunkering Services (Melaka) Sdn Bhd (FEBS) was appointed to professionally manage and manage the area.

“MPA is committed to positioning Malaysia as a new location for bunkering activities,” he said.

“The effort has opened up new opportunities for Malaysia to provide high quality bunkering to transiting vessels passing through the Melaka Strait safely and efficiently without delaying their sailing schedules.”

FEBS Director Datuk Shahrull Allam Shah Abdul Halim said FEBS has pledged to invest up to RM40 million in the development of the specific port area, including setting up a system Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS), protection mechanisms for the quality and quantity of bunker provided, prevention of pollution and oil spills, as well as other maritime services.

With the development of the area, he said that more than 100,000 ships passing through the Strait of Melaka every year would have the opportunity to stop for bunkering at sea and perform other ancillary services such as change of crew in one place.

He said they could also perform all other additional services including ship crew changes, offshore support and logistics service in one place.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Wee Ka Siong said the ministry commended MPA for the initiative to recapture Malacca’s glory days as an international shipping hub.

He also expressed his confidence that the area would become one of the region’s favorite bunker ports and help Malaysia develop the bunker and maritime industry as a whole.

He said that since SPAA is located in a strategic position in the middle of the Strait of Melaka, it has a competitive advantage as a one-stop center to attract transit vessels to meet all their needs.

Photo credit: Malacca Port Authority
Posted: April 19, 2022