Sunday, September 27, 2009

Penang Port Never Incurred Losses In Container Traffic

September 24, 2009
By: Bernama

Penang Port has never recorded losses, particularly in container traffic, says Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) Managing Director Datuk Ahmad Ibnihajar.

Overall, PPSB has been making profit over a decade eventhough ferry operations suffered losses, he said.

"Since I took over Penang Port in 1999, it has been making profit. We were never in trouble in any kind of situation," he told reporters when responding to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's remark that the port recorded a shocking 24 per cent decline in container traffic in the second quarter of this year.

Ahmad said Guan Eng had quoted the wrong figures in his press statement on Tuesday. The statement would tarnish PPSB's image, he said.

He said PPSB had managed to achieve the best performance in container handling history by recording 92,439 in Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in August alone and had never incurred losses in the second quarter of this year as was reported in the media yesterday.

Contrary to Guan Eng's statement, Ahmad said Penang Port recorded a 13 per cent increase in TEUs from 199,391 to 225,322 in the same period.

"He (Guan Eng) don't have the authority to speak for PPSB before consulting us. I am the authority to speak for Penang Port.

"We have our Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and the federal government will evaluate us every year. I will have to go if I fail to discharge my duties efficiently," he said, adding that container handling is expected to record a 12 per cent increase in the third quarter of this year.

"Despite losses in ferry operations last year, we still managed to record RM23.13 million in overall profit last year.

"If the state is serious about helping us, they should contact us and make arrangement for discussions instead of creating bad publicity for PPSB with wrong figures," he said.

Despite the global economic slowdown, container throughput this year is expected to match last year's volume of 929,639 TEUs, he added.

Guan Eng had said in a statement on Tuesday that the Marine Department records showed ports in the country handled 10 per cent more containers in the second quarter of this year compared to the first, reflecting a recovery in both domestic and transhipment cargo.

Container traffic at the 10 major ports rose to 3.79 million TEUs from 3.44 million in the period under review while the volume at the Penang Port was only 2,000 TEUs, less than the Johor Port, in the first quarter, he said.

Guan Eng had also asked the federal government to give more attention to the Penang Port by injecting more funds to help save and keep the port afloat.

(Source: BERNAMA September 24, 2009 16:03 PM)

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