Malaysia’s Largest Port Aims To Bring New Investors For $11 Billion Expansion

Malaysia’s Largest Port Aims To Bring New Investors For $11 Billion Expansion

Westports Holdings, the largest port operator in Malaysia, is considering external strategic investors to help with an RM39.6 billion (S$11.1 billion) expansion that will see nearly double capacity in the coming decades.

Executive chairman Ruben Emir Gnanalingam expressed openness to potential investors who could contribute value, mentioning options like a dividend reinvestment plan and borrowing for funding.

The expansion aims to increase capacity from 14 million to 27 million 20-foot equivalent units by 2082. Beginning in 2027, eight new container terminals will be progressively operational. This mirrors ambitious port developments across the Malacca Strait, including Singapore’s $20 billion Tuas Port, set to be the world’s largest automated terminal by 2040.

Thailand has proposed a $28 billion “Landbridge” project to bypass the Strait’s congestion by linking seaports, reducing travel time. However, Westports remains unconcerned, citing a lack of serious consideration among customers.

Amid increasing environmental scrutiny, Westports focuses on sustainability. The maritime industry’s greenhouse gas emissions rose by 20% in a decade, prompting efforts for net-zero emissions by 2050. Despite mixed results in reducing carbon footprints, the company reconsiders electric vehicle (EV) usage due to its grid’s emissions, primarily coal-powered.