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Penang and Royal Caribbean to redevelop Swettenham Pier

From right, Dato' Sri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, MMC corporate Berhad Group managing director; Gavin Smith, SVP International, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd; Dato’ Syed Mohamad Bin Syed Murtaza, chairman, Penang Port; Chow Kon Yeow, chief minister, Penang; Anthony Loke Siew Fook, minister of transport, Malaysi; Ian James, group CEO, MMC Port Holdings; and Dato’ Seri Hj. Saripuddin Bin Hj. Kasim, secretary general, Ministry of Transport
Penang Port has signed a joint venture agreement with Royal Caribbean Cruises to redevelop its cruise terminal to accommodate larger ships.

Dato’ Syed Mohamad Syed Murtaza, chairman of Penang Port and Gavin Smith, svp international, RCL inked the agreement, witnessed by YAB Chow Kon Yeow, chief minister of Penang and YB Loke Siew Fook, minister of transport in a ceremony held Thursday at Eastern & Oriental Hotel in Penang, Malaysia.

The two parties had previously signed a Heads of Agreement in March 2017.

In the redevelopment plans for Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (SPCT), the existing 400mtr berth will be extended by 220mtr with an additional 118mtr-long dolphin.

It is designed with a view for future expansion in line with anticipated demand.

With the current expansion plan, SPCT will be able to handle two mega sized cruise ships simultaneously on the outer berths along with one small and one medium sized ships on the inner berths by end 2019.

The expansion will enable Oasis-Class ships, the largest in the world, to berth at the terminal.

Sasedharan Vasudevan, ceo of the port said ‘Detailed design and siteinvestigations are already midway, with construction to begin before the end of 2018. The expansion will see a significant increase in international transit calls at Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal along with an increase in appeal for the homeport segment in Penang.

‘With the State Government’s full support in managing tourism activities, logistics and transport staging around the terminal, we are confident in strong future growth of the cruise industry in Penang.’

Royal Caribbean’s Smith, in thanking Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow and Transport Minister Anthony Loke, said: ‘Royal Caribbean’s engagement with Penang marks a significant step in our company’s efforts in encouraging port development in Asia. With the strong support of Penang State and the Malaysian Government, we are confident that the improved cruise terminal facilities will be a boost for the smooth berthing of the larger ships coming to Asia, including Quantum of the Seas next year, and usher in a new era of cruise tourism for Penang.’

Swettenham Pier is 200mtr walking distance to George Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site with a wealth of history and culture, and a renowned foodie-haven.

Both the port and State’s mutual goal is to enhance the warehouse areas in the vicinity as a touristic waterfront city to further boost Penang’s cruise tourism offering.