(EnergyAsia, June 20, Friday) — KIC Group-controlled Asia Petroleum Hub Sdn Bhd (APH) last week officially launched its new RM50 million fabrication and supply base in the southern Malaysian state of Johor. The base is designed to support the construction of APH’s RM1.5 billion petroleum hub on the nearby 100-acre reclaimed island in Tanjung Bin in Johor’s Mukim Serkat, located just north west of Singapore. (US$1=RM3.2).

The base was launched by Johor’s Tunku Mahkota, Tunku Ibrahim Ismail Ibni Sultan Iskandar Al Haj. Also present at the event was Tunku Ismail Idris Abdul Majid Abu Bakar Iskandar Ibni Tunku Ibrahim Ismail, Raja Muda Johor, Menteri Besar or chief minister Abdul Ghani bin Othman, representing the Johor state government and co-chairman of the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), and senior government officials and business leaders.

Construction of the base on the 12-acre site at the river mouth of Sungai Perepat was launched by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi last July. The base will support construction and logistics work for labour and materials worth worth more than RM350 million.

A multipurpose complex on the base will perform procurement and customer service activities as well as engineering and machining. The complex is fully equipped with its own wharf, with a draft of 8 meters, capable of docking vessels up to 10,000 metric tons and up to 210 feet in length.

The marine infrastructure also includes a jetty for the berthing of transport ferries, ambulance boats and security patrol boats.

The on-shore infrastructure includes a covered warehouse and open bulk storage area capable of storing upwards of 30,000 metric tons of steel plates and steel pipes combined and is a landing point approved by the Royal Malaysian Customs. It is also equipped to handle engineering requirements through its workshop, blasting and painting yard, plate rolling yard and weighbridge capable of weighing up to 60 tonnes of materials.

The office unit will accommodate over 100 work stations. 

Construction began soon after APH received Environmental Impact Assessment approval from the Department of Environment last October.

Designed to ensure the convenience, safety and security of the construction teams and contractors, the dedicated ambulance boat is fully stocked with medical supplies. In the event of an emergency, the island’s medical staff is trained to execute an evacuation to an on shore ambulance in under 20 minutes.

On the advice of Menteri Besar Abdul Ghani Othman, APH said the facilities within the 12-acre gated compound are secured and equipped with 24-hour close circuit TV surveillance and manned security. It will serve as an example of the standard of safety and security discipline expected of all Iskandar Malaysia projects.

A dedicated security boat will patrol the waters surrounding the facility while a ferry is designed to safely transport over 1,000 workers a day.

When completed, APH said it expects the complex to attract more investments and evolve into a fully fledged maritime supply base. The complex will focus on activities such as ship repairs, engineering and fabrication of necessary services for the maritime industry and chandling.

KIC Group chairman Abdul Rashid Isa said: “The 12-acre site is merely the start and I am confident that more development and investment can be expected from our group of companies. Our joint venture partners have seen the vast potential of Iskandar Malaysia and are keen to inject more foreign direct investments into Johor in the very near future.”

APH said the rapid growth of the petroleum upstream and downstream sectors will help create jobs and specialist training to both Johor and Malaysia as a whole.