KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 — Malaysia's largest port operator Westports Holdings Bhd is reportedly looking for foreign investors to finance a RM39.6 billion expansion project that may set to almost double its capacity.
Financial news Bloomberg quoted its executive chairman Ruben Emir Gnanalingam saying that he is open to such partnerships if the investors can bring value to the company.
“We would be open to it, if it’s someone who can come and add value to us. We have not ruled anything out,” he was quoted as saying.
Ruben also mentioned the consideration of a dividend reinvestment plan and borrowing for the expansion in Klang.
Additionally, Ruben also reportedly said that Westports is actively exploring opportunities to acquire other ports in Southeast Asia, but will not overpay for any asset.
“There have been ports we have bid for, but we have a limit of how high you can go. Our goal is to make decent returns on investment. Our goal is not to plant flags and lose money,” he was quoted as saying.
Port Klang, ranked as the second-largest in Southeast Asia, is set to boost its capacity from the current 14 million 20-foot equivalent units to 27 million during its concession period until 2082.
Westports' growth initiative begins with the inaugural operation of the initial eight container terminals in 2027, parallel to others along the Malacca Strait such as Singapore which is in the process of constructing the world's largest automated terminal Tuas Port and Thailand which has suggested the construction of a US$28 billion landbridge to circumvent the shipping lane.