Bengkulu (ANTARA News) - Bengkulu province which partially consists of beaches will in this year build several new ports for its plantation produce and coal.
One of the ports which already has a permit for its construction will be located in Muko Muko Regency, and a further survey to be followed by construction work will soon be conducted, executive director of the Pulau Baai Port Authority in Bengkulu Hasan Basri said on Thursday.
The construction of the ports is based on a request of the regional administration for smoothening the transportation of farm produce and coal.
He said that the initial investment in building the new ports in Bantal Muara and Sungai Teramang villages had already been approved, but further improvements have yet to be made.
He also said that more and more ports may in the future be built after the big private oil palm estates and several coal mines in North Bengkulu Regency have started production.
The new ports will not only smoothen farm produce and coal transportation and shipments, these facilities are also expected to raise the income of the local administrations where the ports are located.
"If the farm produce and coal have to be transported through the distant Pulau Baai port in Bengkulu, the cost will increase," he said.
Besides, the new ports may also serve as a practical alternative because the sea lanes to Pulau Baai port had become heavily silted and are now rather shallow and not deep enough to handle big vessels.
Muko and North Bengkulu regencies are potential producers of crude palm oil and coal.
Besides in Pulau Baai and Linau in Kaur Regency, Bengkulu, a mini port has been built in the oil palm estate of PT Agricinal in North Bengkulu, Hasan Basri added. (*)