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$65.1m new investments

$65.1m new investments
The troubled Port Klang Free Trade Zone has attracted M$226m ($65.1m) in new investments over the past seven months.

The troubled Port Klang Free Trade Zone has attracted $65.1m in new investments over the past seven months.

The troubled Port Klang Free Trade Zone has attracted M$226m ($65.1m) in new investments over the past seven months, but the project nevertheless remains a controversial one.

PKFZ has obtained the funding since its new management took over in May, and the money represents a 30% increase in total investment in the Free Zone. But occupancy rates still only average around 18% of the Zone"s capacity.

Malaysian transport minister Ong Tee Keat said this should be viewed in relation to similar developments, such as Jafza ? the Jebel Ali Free Zone ? which took six years to reach 40% capacity, and 10 years to reach full capacity.

Controversy remains concerning the costs of the project, with M$2.9bn paidfor land and construction, and whether PKFZ will be able to service a M$4.6bn soft loan that it received from the government.

?Whether or not the project was handled professionally ? cost-effective or exorbitant ? that is what I"ve been harping on about, and it is what will appear in the PriceWaterhouseCoopers report,? Mr Ong said.

PwC is expected to complete an audit of the project in the next few weeks.

PKFZ is 100%-owned by Port Klang Authority and was originally managed by Jafza. However, the Dubai-based company pulled out in March 2007, just three years into a 15-year contract.

www.TurkishMaritime.com.tr

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