KOTA KINABALU, March 13 (Bernama) -- Sabah Ports Sdn Bhd is forming a strategic alliance with Sabah government-owned Asian Supply Base Sdn Bhd (ASB) to explore and develop marine and oil and gas (O&G) opportunities within the state. 

Sabah Ports, which is a unit of Suria Capital Holdings Bhd, and ASB today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the aim of creating advances services and facilities for the O&G, marine, logistics and port-related segments.

The companies will develop an integrated offshore marine base at Sapangar Bay as their maiden project. Thereafter, they will explore the development of potential liquefied natural gas projects, among others.

Sabah Ports group managing director Ng Kiat Min said the partnership would leverage on its strength as the state's main port operator, in particular utilising Sapangar Bay Container Port (SBCP) as a gateway to access the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), North East Asia and other markets.

The collaboration would also be further reinforced by ASB's expertise as a fully integrated marine and offshore provider with capabilities in O&G exploration, development and production activities, she told reporters after the signing ceremony today.

Ng inked the MoU on Sabah Ports’ behalf while ASB was represented by chief executive officer Datuk Harris Annuar Tan.

Through the MoU, the Sapangar area will be fitted with a modern marine and O&G service and supply centre and will be used as ASB's focal hub for the state's west coast area, thus enabling greater logistics efficiencies and scale for ASB's Kota Kinabalu-based O&G clientele.

ASB currently operates a 140-hectare fully integrated logistics hub in Labuan which, among others, facilitates a stocking point for offshore drilling, development and production of consumables. It houses a multitude of O&G-related companies, with 60 per cent being international O&G firms.

Ng said Sapangar Bay provided the strategic thrust for ASB to broaden its base via vessels plying the west coast sea lanes and congruently.

"The multiple growth strategies that specifically focus on developing Sapangar's marine and oil and gas strength will position SBCP as a key trade gateway complete with an integrated hub for maritime services.

"The development has the potential to produce exponential results in terms of economic contribution and elevating Sabah's capabilities as a marine and O&G provide," she said.

Meanwhile, Tan said the formation of the strategic alliance was timely.

"The growth prospects of the O&G industry, especially in Sabah, can been viewed as bright, driven by new explorations and developments in the O&G field sectors with better enhanced O&G recovery technologies," he said.



TAGS: Sabah, Sabah ports, Asian Supply Base, Oil and gas, Maritime