Banda Aceh, (ANTARA News) - The port of Sabang in the Sumatran province of Aceh is being prepared to be able to accommodate super tankers and super cargo ships to pass the Strait of Malacca, governor Irwandi Yusuf said.
"We are convinced several years to come or in 2012 at the earliest the port could accommodate super tankers and super cargo ships which cannot pass the Malacca Strait," he said at the handing over of the assets of PT Pelindo to the Aceh administration.
He said the opportunity had to be taken well so that it could speed up development of Sabang.
"It is important to be considered because Sabang is very strategic and it all depends on us to do it so that economic development could be spurred to help improve the welfare of the Aceh people in particular," he said.
Irwandi said he hoped Sabang could be developed as a transit port for tankers and cargo ships to distribute their goods through small boats to various destinations particularly in the Malacca Strait area such as Singapore and Malaysia.
In view of that at an initial stage he would seek cooperation with Dublin Port of Ireland as a partner to develop the Sabang port.
"It means the handing over of assets of Sabang port and various other facilities from PT Pelindo to the Aceh government served as a starting point for the development of the area," he said.
PT Pelindo had handed over a 180 meter long pier and around 11 hectares of land as well as a warehouse worth Rp16.31 billion to the Aceh government.
A total of Rp4 trillion to Rp5 trillion would be needed to develop the Sabang port. "We hope there will be investors interested to invest in the area," he said.
According to the masterplan, the pier would develop to reach 2,600 meter long at a depth of 12 meter. Sabang is located at the most western part of Aceh around 16 miles from provincial capital Banda Aceh.
Sabang and parts of Aceh Besar and Banda Aceh have been declared as a free trade and port area based on Law Number 37 of 2000. (*)