Tuesday December 11, 2012

Bintulu Port unit to raise RM1.35 billion


<B>Energy intensive:</b> Press Metal Bhd’s aluminium smelting plant is the first to start operations in Samalaju Industrial Park. Energy intensive: Press Metal Bhd’s aluminium smelting plant is the first to start operations in Samalaju Industrial Park.

KUCHING: The Samalaju Industrial Port Sdn Bhd (SIPSB) plans to raise up to RM1.35bil from a share placement and issuance of Islamic securities or sukuk to fund the development of the Samalaju port project in Bintulu.

The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd (BPHB).

BPHB chief executive officer Datuk Mior Ahmad Baiti Mior Lub Ahmad said the parent holding was expected to raise RM400mil via the placement of up to 15% of its issued and paid-up capital to its major shareholder(s)/(offerors(s), and up to RM950mil from the issuance of sukuk.

“The proceeds will be used to finance the development of the RM1.8bil Samalaju Port project,” he told StarBiz yesterday.

The RM1.8bil price tag is inclusive of RM300mil investment on port equipment.

The new port is designed to serve especially energy-intensive industries like aluminium smelters in Samalaju Industrial Park for the import of raw materials and exports of finished products.

Press Metal Bhd's aluminium smelting plant was the first to start operations in Samalaju Industrial Park.

SIPSB has appointed Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd as the principal adviser and placement agent for the proposed placement exercise, and proposed exemption for offeror(s) and persons acting in concert from obligation to undertake a takeover for all remaining shares in BPHB not already owned by them.

BPHB has earlier discussed the port project's proposed funding with its three major shareholders Petroliam Nasional Bhd, Sarawak State Financial Secretary and Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (which had 32.79%, 30.68% and 9.52% stakes respectively in BPHB as of March 31).

SIPSB has appointed CIMB Investment Bank Bhd as the principal adviser/lead arranger, lead manager, bookrunner and facility agent for the proposed sukuk issuance.

Mior Ahmad said construction work of the Samalaju Port's interim facilities was underway and expected to be completed by May or June next year.

The facilities include a 300m long berth for barges with a depth of 7m. The barges will be used mainly to transport building materials and equipment for the construction of manfacturing facilities of the industries in Samalaju Industrial Park as well as raw materials for the industries.

The interim port facility package was awarded to Trans Resources Corp Sdn Bhd for nearly RM194mil in June this year.

“Dredging works for the proposed main port will commence in first quarter of next year.

“The construction of the wharf and breakwater is expected to commence in June,” added Mior Ahmad.

Samalaju Port is designed to handle 18 million tonnes of cargo per annum compared with Bintulu Port's current capacity of 16 million tonnes (of non-liquified natural gas cargo) per annum. The new port's capacity can be raised to 30 million tonnes a year if necessary.

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