Tuesday, 27 June 2017

History of Tanjung Manis Port

Tanjung Manis Integrated Port Sdn. Bhd. (TMP), was appointed as a port operator by the Sarawak Government on 26th February, 2009 to operate, manage and develop the port . A wholly owned subsidiary of Sarawak Timber Development Corporation (STIDC), the implementing agency appointed to oversee the overall development at Tanjung Manis, TMP officially commenced operation on 1st July, 2009.

Tanjung Mani anchorage has been in existence since time immemorial. It was haven for ocean-going ships to load and unload goods. Back in the 50-60’s when the timber was a flourishing trade, there was no jetty or port facility and the anchorage ( mid-stream) was a hive of activity for export of timber logs.

In mid-90’s, at the recommendation of JICA ( The Japan International Corporation Agency), the
Sarawak Government decided to build a port facility at Tanjung Manis which was completed in November,1997. Tanjung Manis Port Terminal became one of the 5 centres of Rajang Port Authority.

But the economic downturn in 1997 coupled with other factors such as the absence of road link to Sibu, failed to attract shippers to utilize its berth. Other than leasing its warehouse to a timber company for storage of timber products, the port remained under utilised for more than a decade.

By mid-2000, the forces of nature has taken its toll along the Rajang & Paloh route. Siltation has already made it impossible for larger vessels to sail up to the main inland port of Rajang, 113km away from the mouth of the Rajang River. This was exacerbated by siltation at the turning basin of Rajang Port itself. The development of SCORE was gaining momentum and the road linking Sibu to Tanjung Manis was near completion. The Lebaan Bridge spanning 1.25 km across the Lebaan River furthermore, meant that vessels with air draft of over 20m could not pass under the bridge, further hindering the passage of large vessels to sail up to Rajang Port at Sibu. The need to revitalize the defunct Tanjung Manis Terminal was imminent.

Finally, STIDC & Assar Senari was tasked to set up a private entity, Tanjung Manis Integrated Port Sdn.Bhd as a Government linked agency (GLC) to revitalize the operation at Tanjung Manis Port facility. STIDC later took over full 100% ownership of TMP.

The biggest obstacle encountered by the management of Tanjung Manis Integrated Port Sdn. Bhd (TMP) upon its formation was how to attract skeptical shippers to call on a port that was virtually inactive for more than a decade. By July 2009, a flurry of intense negotiation to persuade shippers to call at TMP entered its crucial phase. Finally, a breakthrough was made when Syarikat Tenaga Suria (STS) agreed to call on TMP. Its vessel, MV Selatan Makmur, carrying 162 containers made its maiden call at TMP on 4th August, 2009.

That small shipment, sailing into uncharted waters was the beginning of a journey to shape TMP into what it has become today.

Today, TMP handles an average of 7,000 TEUs a month contributed by 4 main shipping lines, a far cry from its humble beginning. This volume it currently handles, is on par with some of Sarawak's more established ports and even surpassed them. TMP's success story is the culmination of hard work, overcoming challenges and adversities amidst a volatile playing field of intense competition and port rivalry.

TMP's recent acquisition of 2 units Gottwald Mobile Harbour Cranes, an Inland Container Depot at Sg.Merah, extension of wharf, one transit shed, one open shed, expansion of container yard and one administrative office block, operation of Oil, Gas & Chemical Jetty (OGC) to cater for import and export of CODT since November 2011,on-going construction of the Palm Oil Industry Cluster (POIC) implementation of Port Management IT Systems,the establishment of the Free Commercial Zone (FCZ) by 2014, delineation of its port limits and the establishment of Tanjung Manis Port Authority in September 2012 is testimony to its success in such a short time.

The success of TMP is attributed to the vision and foresight of Chief Minister of Sarawak in which TMP has successfully complemented the activities and development of SCORE by being the gateway on the western corridor.



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Source: Write-up by Webmaster 
M.V Selatan Makmur, the first container vessel to call at TMP on 4th August, 2009 with a shipment of 162 TEUs, will always hold a special place in the hearts of the pioneer group who were tasked to setup the port.
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