What makes Penang unique to investors and industrialists? 

July 6, 2022

Apart from government and governance, many believe it is her logistics, particularly the ports. There are several ports in Penang- managed by a private operator- and these collections have been the key driver to Penang’s economy- the ability to ship and deliver her products worldwide.

Historically, it started back in the heydays of the British East India Company over 230 years ago when Sir Francis Light made George Town a trading post and established the Port of Penang. The recent milestones include the corporatization and privatization of the collective ports under a private operator MMC Group.

The following table is self-explanatory:

Port Activities Depth (meters) Capacity p. a.
North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT) Free Commercial Zone / Transhipment

Container handling

11 2.3 million TUEs
Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal Cruise Services 12 3 million passenger
Butterworth Wharves Break Bulk Cargo 9/10 2.5 million tonnes
Vegetable Oil Tanker Pier  Liquid Bulk Cargo 10 650 000 tonnes
Prai Bulk Cargo Terminal Dry Bulk Cargo

Liquid Bulk Cargo

11 3.9 million tonnes
Ferry Terminal Vehicle Ferry passenger
Prai Wharves Barter Trade Cargo

Bunker / refueling

Sources : ivivaluers/internet

Future expansion and expectations include the North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT)(commenced March 2021) as a Free Commercial Zone (FCZ), affording:

  1. Trans-shipment of goods to intermediate destinations before being taken to others.
  2. Value-added activities for break bulking, grading, repacking, relabeling, transit and re-export.
  • Reclamation of over 300 hectares for container goods (112ha), halal hub (40ha) logistical warehousing (154.6ha).
  1. Berthing expansion of 2.8km to 4.3km for the existing 1.5km.
  2. Expecting 6.7m TEUs by 2055

Now, that is something to look forward to.

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