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Negeri Sembilan Government, Tanco Collaborate To Develop Malaysia’s First Smart AI Container Port

KUALA LUMPUR: The Negeri Sembilan state government and Tanco Holdings Bhd (THB) signed a joint venture agreement to develop Malaysia’s first smart artificial intelligence (AI) container port at Dickson Bay, Port Dickson, in Negeri Sembilan.

Signing the port deal. (From left): Negeri Sembilan state secretary Datuk Mohd Zafir Ibrahim, chief minister Datuk Seri Utama Aminuddin Harun , transport minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook, THB group managing director Datuk Sri Andrew Tan Juan Suan and Datuk Wira Andy Chua from Midports Holdings Sdn Bhd.

This pioneering project, which has received a nod from the Ministry of Transport, marks a significant milestone in Negeri Sembilan’s strategic development supporting the nation’s economic growth.

Negeri Sembilan chief minister Datuk Seri Utama Aminuddin Harun expressed immense enthusiasm for the project.

“This smart AI container port is not just a development. It is a leap towards revolutionising our state’s and Malaysia’s economic landscape.

“We are setting the foundation for future generations, ensuring Negeri Sembilan plays a crucial role in both the state’s and nation’s economic growth and global maritime logistics,” he said at the signing ceremony.

The event was held in Negeri Sembilan and was graced by transport minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook and Aminuddin.

Midports Holdings Sdn Bhd (MHSB), a 79 per cent-owned subsidiary of THB and Menteri Besar Negeri Sembilan (Pemerbadanan) (MBNS), signed a joint venture (JV) to develop the smart AI container port.

The deal includes an additional 83.19 acres of seabed land submerged off Dickson Bay in Port Dickson.

Both entities will set up a joint venture company (JVC), which will serve as the development backbone of the project, driving forward the construction and future operation of the smart AI container port.

The shareholding of the JVC will be 80 per cent by MHSB and the balance will be 20 per cent by MBNS.

Aminuddin added that the smart AI container port marks a transformative development for Negeri Sembilan, promising job creation and enhanced land values, potentially leading to the development of new and existing industrial zones close to the smart AI container port and attracting local and foreign investments.

This growth in infrastructure will generate significant revenue for Negeri Sembilan and the nation, reinforcing Malaysia’s position in international trade and establishing the region as a key economic hub.

Aminuddin further emphasised the project’s significance in attracting investment and technology.

“Establishing this port is a clear signal to the world that we are ready to enable the future of trade and technology.

“This venture is expected to attract more foreign direct investment that will positively contribute to the gross development product (GDP) and foster the growth of high-tech technology factories, further solidifying Malaysia’s position as a key player in the global economy,” he said.

The smart AI container port will be supported by a 480-acre landbank owned by THB, eliminating additional land acquisition costs.

The site is strategically located at the midway point of the Straits of Malacca and features natural deep water access with more than 21 meters in depth, which is 1.8km from the shoreline.

It can accommodate the largest container ships globally.

This strategic advantage is critical, as the Straits of Malacca is one of the busiest straits in the world and positions Negeri Sembilan to capitalise on this bustling maritime route.

It is designed to leverage cutting-edge technologies that will enable automated and efficient container handling, predictive maintenance, and enhanced security measures, setting new standards in operational efficiency and environmental sustainability.

THB group managing director Datuk Sri Andrew Tan Juan Suan said this port in Port Dickson is a testament to the company’s commitment to innovation and sustainability.

“Integrating advanced AI and smart technologies will enhance our logistics capabilities and ecosystem and position Malaysia as a leader in automated and sustainable port operations,” he said.

The smart AI container port also offers logistical advantages by significantly reducing transportation costs for gateway containers for businesses dependent on distant ports and enhancing speed and efficiencies for transhipment containers.

Tan said that this strategic proximity is also expected to decrease carbon emissions, demonstrating THB’s contribution to sustainable practices.

“We have started our groundwork and invited foreign industrialists to the smart AI container port location.

“These industrialists have expressed positive feedback and interest in the potential development of new industrial parks close to the smart AI container port to establish a more conducive trade and logistic ecosystem to accelerate the state’s industrialisation plans,” Tan said.

With keen interest from various groups expressed to realise this strategic initiative to establish a smart AI container port, Tan said THB also plan for MHSB to seek permission from the relevant local authorities to undertake an infrastructure listing on the local exchange soon.

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